Associated Press reports there has been speculation of corruption surrounding FIFA's decision to have the 2018 and 2022 World Cup of Soccer hosted in Russia and Qatar. FIFA President Sepp Blatter insists FIFA is not corrupt, but made the decision because soccer's world governing body needs to improve its image.
An opinion piece in the University of Pennsylvania's student newspaper claims that the decision to have the World Cup in Qatar is irresponsible because of the country's lack of human rights. The student writes that the event will be tainted by forced slave labor, reporting that Qatar does not comply with the minimum human trafficking standards.
Other countries also have are upset with FIFA's decision. New Zealand's 3 News reports that a senior member of Australia's World Cup bid, Steve Hargitay, has accused FIFA of being dishonest. Hargitay also advised the England bid team that they were lied to by FIFA. Hargitay believes the biggest mistake made by Australia was to play it clean.
The Associated Press reports that Blatter stands behind his organization. "I'll say it clearly; there is no systematic corruption at FIFA," said Blatter. "That's nonsense."
Associated Press reports that FIFA's ethics courts suspended two of Blatter's executive committee colleagues from taking part in balloting after they had been accused of bribe-taking and vote-rigging by a British newspaper.
3 News reports that it has been revealed that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held secret meetings with FIFA's executive committee prior to being named the host of the upcoming World Cup.