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.

News
news
New Articles
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
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

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all