Fifa asked to probe World Cup decision

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The Independent Online

The South African Football Association yesterday asked Fifa, the sport's world governing body, to set up an arbitration process aimed at challenging Germany's successful bid for the 2006 World Cup.

The South African Football Association yesterday asked Fifa, the sport's world governing body, to set up an arbitration process aimed at challenging Germany's successful bid for the 2006 World Cup.

Germany won the right to host the event by 12 Fifa votes to 11 earlier this month after the Oceania representative, Charles Dempsey, abstained. Dempsey, who has since resigned, had been asked by his federation to vote for South Africa.

Irvin Khoza, the acting Safa president, said that a letter had been sent to Fifa asking that the process be set in motion. Khoza and Danny Jordaan, South Africa's bid chief executive, are trying to establish whether there were any legal or constitutional grounds for challenging the Fifa decision.

While not willing to elaborate at this stage, Khoza said that it had emerged during their investigations that there had been a contravention of Fifa statutes as well as a breach of the statutes of the Confederation of Oceania in the process leading up to the award.

"I think those are the bases of our case to Fifa. I cannot spell out the details because those will be unveiled when we present our case in the arbitration, but what is important is that we are confident that the statutes of Fifa have been violated by Fifa itself."

Khoza said a court action had been considered, but that would take too long, so Safa had opted for arbitration.

"The decision of 6 July is clearly being challenged. Our responsibility is to present the facts and those judges who sit will consider the facts and then come to a conclusion," Jordaan said.

Asked what they hoped to achieve by taking the case to arbitration, Jordaan said: "If your team loses 2-1 and you lodge a protest, what are you trying to achieve? A replay, have the points awarded to you? Those options are decided by those who consider the evidence.

"Our responsibility is to ask Fifa to set up the process, then present the facts and then Fifa will present its own case. When that evidence is on the table, then the possibilities will emerge."

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