Whistleblower who was exiled from football after raising concerns about corruption in Australia’s 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids calls for FIFA to apologise
- Bonita Mersiades was a senior executive in Australia’s 2022 World Cup bid
- She raised concerns over corruption, including Jack Warner’s ties to the push
- Mersiades lost her job and was ostracised from the game for speaking up
- She now wants an apology from FIFA after revelations proving her right
A whistleblower who lost her job in football and was subsequently ostracised from the game for speaking up against corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process, has called on FIFA to apologise for the world governing body’s wrong-doing.
Bonita Mersiades was a senior executive in the Australian bid team hoping to host the 2022 event but was dismissed for persistently saying she felt uncomfortable with the ethics of her nation’s bid.
Specifically she was unhappy with the activities of Australian bid consultants and their relationships with notoriously corrupt FIFA officials at the time, not least then FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, after new material supported her case.
Mersiades was even criticised in FIFA’s ‘Garcia report’, but now is calling for them to apologise
There is now fresh material suggesting bribes were paid by Russia for the 2018 World Cup
Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner’s ties to the Australian bid concerned Mersiades
Mersiades has been prompted into action by the publication last week of new American court documents.
They state unequivocally for the first time that bribes were paid by Russia and Qatar to members of FIFA’s 22-man executive committee (ExCo) who decided in December 2010 to send the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 respectively to those two countries.
A 70-page indictment document stated that Brazil’s ExCo member Ricardo Teixeira as well as Paraguay’s Nicolas Leoz and Argentina’s Julio Grondona (the latter two now dead) ‘were offered and received bribe payments in exchange for their votes in favour of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.’
Mersiades was even criticised in FIFA’s ‘Garcia report’, but now is calling for them to concede
The indictment adds that Warner, now banned for life from football, ‘was promised and received bribe payments totalling $5 million’ to vote for Russia.
Mersiades and a whistleblower from the Qatar bid, Phaedra Almajid, both co-operated extensively with FIFA’s lame duck ‘Garcia report’, which found no corruption by Qatar or Russia; both continue to deny corruption. The Garcia report criticised both women.
Mersiades will call for an apology in an article for the MoS. FIFA failed to answer a series of questions on the issue, saying they considered themselves victims of corruption, not wrong-doers.