S Africans consider legal action against Fifa

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The Independent Online

South African officials met with Jean-Marc Bosman's lawyer yesterday to discuss a possible legal challenge to the decision by the game's ruling body, Fifa, that awarded the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

South African officials met with Jean-Marc Bosman's lawyer yesterday to discuss a possible legal challenge to the decision by the game's ruling body, Fifa, that awarded the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

"We can't predict the outcome, but we're sure there's sufficient ground to get the process under way," said Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of South Africa's bid to host the competition.

Jordaan and the South African bid's chairman, Irvin Khoza, flew to Brussels to meet Jean-Louis Dupont, who successfully sued Uefa, the game's European governing body, on Bosman's behalf in 1995, which led to the ruling that ended the transfer system for out-of-contract players in the European Union.

The South Africans were seeking Dupont's advice on the chances of overturning the result of the vote by Fifa's executive committee in Zurich earlier this month to award the 2006 World Cup to Germany instead of South Africa. "We are just establishing the facts of the matter and the options," Jordaan said.

South Africa lost the bid in the third round of voting after Oceania Football Confederation president, Charles Dempsey, of New Zealand, abstained, allowing Germany to win 12-11. Dempsey said pressure from "influential European interests" gave him no alternative.

Had Dempsey voted for South Africa, the vote would have been tied, leaving the casting decision to Fifa's president, Sepp Blatter, who had openly advocated awarding the cup to Africa.

Despite international dismay, Fifa last week confirmed it had no intention of holding another ballot.

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