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  • New Wrinkle In World Cup Bidding Scandal; Trouble for Vancouver Mitten-Makers


    FIFA May Kick Out World Cup Bid Nations

    FIFA has threatened to throw out candidates from the race to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals after widening its investigation into allegations of corruption made by The Sunday Times newspaper.

    FIFA’s ethics committee meets Wednesday to discuss allegations made against executive members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii, both of whom face suspension and may be banned from the vote on Dec. 2. An evening press conference will follow the all-day meeting.
    Temarii is president of the Oceania Football Confederation. (OFC)

    This aspect of FIFA’s investigation transcends the allegations made in The Sunday Times and relates to rumors of a deal made between two bid nations.

    FIFA rules preclude vote trading between candidates for the 2018 and 2022 races.

    “FIFA also confirms that the alleged agreements between member associations would also be a clear violation of the Bid Registration document and the Code of Ethics,” FIFA said Monday in a statement.

    Any resulting suspension, even if temporary, would surely destroy any hopes a candidate has and throw the bid race into chaos.

    The reality facing Adamu and Temarii is likewise dire, and both of their careers with FIFA may well be over by Wednesday night.

    Adamu is accused of asking for $800,000 for artificial pitches to be channeled into a private bank account from a reporter posing as a consultant working with the USA bid committee.

    Temarii allegedly told the same journalists that he wanted $2.4 million to pay for a football academy.

    For more on the bidding scandal, visit World Football INSIDER.

    Reigning 400m Champ Sidelined for London

    Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt will sit out London 2012 because of a doping ban that expires a year before the Games open.
    Merritt won both the 400m and 4x400m relay in Beijing. (Getty Images)

    The American Arbitration Association slapped the U.S. sprinter with a 21-month ban Monday, down from the International Association of Athletics Federations’ two-year standard but still long enough to sideline him for the Olympics.

    "The rule states very clearly that any athlete sanctioned for six months or more will be banned from participation in the next edition of the Games,” IOC communications director Mark Adams told Reuters on Monday.

    The ban is backdated to Oct. 28, when Merritt tested positive for banned substances used in a male enhancement product.

    His eligibility will return next August, just in time for the IAAF world championships in Daegu, South Korea.

    Trouble for Canadian Olympic Committee’s Mitten-Making Foundation

    A chief fundraising arm of the Canadian Olympic Committee is without leadership less than two years before London 2012.

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported Monday that all nine board members of the Canadian Olympic Foundation quit in mid-September amidst a tiff about how the COC spends money raised by the COF.
    These mittens were everywhere during Vancouver 2010. (ATR)

    Among the resignations were former COC president Michael Chambers, figure skating judge Jean Senft and former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon.

    “It really comes down [to] different expectations as to what influence was to be had by the foundation and assurance that the money raised was doing the things that we all wanted it to do,” Filmon told CBC Sports.

    The COF last month launched a redesign of its wildly popular red mittens. Sales of the snuggly souvenir reached 3.5 million in the run-up to Vancouver 2010, raising $4 for every pair sold.

    The Foundation also organizes fundraising dinners and other events to support Team Canada.

    London Already Eyeing Hockey Legacy

    London will bid for the 2014 Hockey World Cup in an effort to secure a 2012 legacy facility’s first major event.

    The Lee Valley Hockey Center would expand from 3,000 to 10,000 seats for such an occasion, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

    England last hosted the men’s tournament in 1986 and has never hosted the women’s. London’s plans provide for both sexes to occupy the same venue, a convenience the Cups have enjoyed only once before.

    England Hockey Board, UK Sport and Visit London are all backing the bid, as is Mayor Boris Johnson.

    “Hockey is one of the ways in which we are going to turn the Olympic Park into a fantastic sporting legacy,” he told The Telegraph.

    Written by Mark Bisson and Matthew Grayson.

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