Rival: Bought votes let Blatter win

 

The man beaten to the Fifa presidency by Sepp Blatter in 1998 believes his election hopes may have been damaged by vote-buying.

Lennart Johansson, the 82-year-old who was then Uefa president, lost out to Blatter by 111 votes to 80. Blatter himself accepted last year that there had been vote-buying at his first victorious Fifa election in 1998.

Johansson said Fifa's public reputation was now tarnished by corruption claims and called for an independent investigation into the allegations – including former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner's claim that Blatter allowed him to pay just $1 for World Cup TV rights.

Johansson told Bloomberg: "I think I'm entitled to talk about it because I was the second candidate at the election in 1998. I lost and now I hear that they bought some votes.

"For people on the streets, Fifa is corruption, is bribery, things like that, and they hear it year after year and nothing happens. I can't see how things like that can change."

Blatter has always vehemently rejected any suggestions that he was linked with vote-buying in 1998, but earlier last year he appeared to suggest that somebody else was involved.

Author David Yallop, in his 1999 book How They Stole The Game, alleged a Middle Eastern fixer procured votes by giving African delegates at the Meridien Montparnasse hotel in Paris envelopes each containing $50,000, supposedly as development money.

Blatter told a news conference last March, after being asked about Fifa's reputation being damaged by allegations of corruption: "It's not easy to change somewhere where people started by saying you have bought votes in your first election. Who has bought votes in the first election? Go down to Paris in 8 June 1998 in the Meridien Montparnasse. I was not there because they expelled me from Fifa at the time, and then you will see who has bought votes. That was somebody... it doesn't matter now. You have just asked me as president and I have just explained before."

Blatter's reference to being "expelled from Fifa" was in relation to his having had to step down as general secretary in order to stand for president.

Johansson said, in relation's to Warner's claims about buying TV rights for a dollar: "We need to investigate Warner's comments for the reputation of football, not to help Mr Warner. Mr Warner made us aware of really what's happened by telling us about it. Then if he's telling a lie that should be proved. We will see."

Fifa last week said Warner's statement contained "several inaccuracies and falsehoods" and denied he was given TV rights in return for supporting Blatter.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower