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Home » Sport » Football

FIFA must be objective

Gordon Taylor has called on FIFA to make its decision on who will host the 2018 World Cup on objective grounds as the England bid seeks to limit possible damage caused by BBC Panorama's investigation into corruption.

Panorama accused three FIFA executive committee members of taking bribes, and alleged that FIFA vice-president Jack Warner attempted to supply ticket touts.

Taylor, the chief executive Professional Footballers' Association and a member of the bid committee, told Radio Five Live: "It probably will impact on our bid but it shouldn't do if we look at it objectively. I think our bid ticks all the boxes but it remains to be seen what FIFA will do about the accusations."

The four men are all part of the 22-man committee who will vote on the 2018 and 2022 hosts on Thursday. Warner's importance to the England bid is such that Prime Minister David Cameron has invited him to lunch before the vote on Thursday.

Taylor added that he hoped the allegations would be dealt with separately to the bidding process.

"Anyone accused will respond and respond in the courts," he said. "It's almost embarrassing, it's ironic we're dependent on men our media are accusing of being corrupt.

"From that point of view it's extremely disappointing but if you've got a society that believes in integrity such allegations must be dealt with thoroughly so they do not cast doubt over proceedings.

"I know we have a freedom of the press and (know) personally how intrusive they can be. This is a fact of life and there are times when such investigations have been proven correct. In order to prove them correct or not it's up to FIFA to defend them robustly and still make a decision on the World Cup on objective grounds - not to do with our media.

"Our bid ticks all the right boxes -we've shown the world how to deal with crowd control and safety, we have a great deal of social responsibility, a great love of the game here.

"If we don't win this bid for the first time since 1966 then even more questions need to be asked, I think."


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