Zurich: Russia and Qatar may have paid bribes to win their World bids claimed the former adviser of Sepp Blatter on Monday.
During Blatter’s second term as FIFA president, Guido Tognoni worked “extremely closely” with him.
“In FIFA, for many years, you could only reach your goal by taking dollars in your hands,” Tognoni told BBC Sport.
The Swiss authorities are currently investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
“This speculation is permitted, yes” was Togoni’s response when asked if countries had any choice other than to bribe FIFA during the bidding process.
Russia and Qatar could lose the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups if evidence is found of corruption in the bidding process, a FIFA official was quoted as saying on Sunday.
“If evidence exists that Qatar and Russia received the (World Cup) awards only thanks to bribes, then the awards could be annulled,” Domenico Scala told the Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung.
But Tognini believes taking away the hosting rights from the two countries would not be the right action as the problem lies with FIFA and not the countries bidding to host the quadrennial event.
“Even if there is evidence that FIFA people were bribed, where is the problem – with FIFA, or the people who had no choice but to get the World Cup with bribing?” asked Tognoni.
The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) has even blocked accounts at several banks in Switzerland after police arrested some of the most powerful figures in global soccer in U.S. and Swiss corruption cases.
The FOJ said a further wanted soccer official had been arrested on a request from the United States and named Eugenio Figueredo, Eduardo Li, Jose Maria Marin, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Jeffrey Webb, and Rafael Esquivel as the seven officials currently in detention pending extradition.