Fifa has handed over computer data to Swiss police investigating the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes, as it remained at the centre of a football corruption storm. Fifa said that computer data from its Zurich headquarters had been handed to Swiss prosecutors. Swiss authorities are investigating the 2010 Fifa vote that awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
“Fifa today provided, as planned, data requested by the attorney general,” said a spokesman for the global body. The BBC claimed that documents were seized from the offices of Blatter, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke, and chief financial officer Markus Kattner. Swiss prosecutors refused to reveal the identity of the individuals involved.
Fifa has been thrown into chaos by the Swiss inquiry and the parallel investigation into corruption by football officials, which led to seven Fifa officials being arrested at a Zurich hotel, last month. Valcke said, Russia had won the right to host the 2018 finals “honestly” and “one must be crazy to say that all hosting rights were bought.” The draw for the Russian tournament will be held in St Petersburg, on July 25.
Brazilian legend Zico, meanwhile, became the first person to officially declare himself a candidate to take over football’s scandal-tainted world body, from Sepp Blatter. Zico, a hero of Brazilian teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s and a former sports minister, declared he would enter the race. “I feel I am capable. For sure, certain rules need to change,” he told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro. “Much needs to change and much is going to happen”
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who stood against Blatter in last month’s election, has indicated he could also stand along with former Fifa vice president Chung Mong-Joon, of South Korea. But Uefa president Michel Platini refused to discuss his plans at a Paris press conference, to mark one year from the start of the European Championships, in France. Platini only said it was a “good thing” the 2026 World Cup campaign had been halted. “There is no leadership at Fifa,” he commented.
Wolfgang Niersbach, a Blatter critic, said the election should be held quickly. “With all due respect for his life’s work, Sepp Blatter does himself, and football as a whole, no favours by drawing out his resignation,” Niersbach wrote in a letter to German clubs and regional associations.
“A new president must be chosen quickly at an extraordinary congress to represent a compelling new beginning.” He also called for “comprehensive reform” of the world body. “It must be our common goal to prevent unscrupulous people being enriched at the expense of football and tighter cash flows are needed.”