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Abou-Rida denies involvement in illegal vote-fixing practices

Abou-Rida denies involvement in illegal vote-fixing practices

Photo: Valeriano Di Domenico/Bongarts/Getty Images

EFA President and member of FIFA Council Hany Abou-Rida has denied being involved in any illegal vote-fixing during the 2018 and 2022 World Cups bid race.

Abou-Rida was mentioned eight times in the “Garcia report”, a report made by Michael J. Garcia which examines allegations of high-level corruption in world football and was released by FIFA on Tuesday, however, the Egyptian revealed that he didn’t help Russia or Qatar hosting the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

“During the investigation, [FIFA’s then-ethics investigator] Michael Garcia told me that the ex-FIFA Secretary General had told him that I was part of an alliance to give Qatar the World Cup hosting rights,” Abou-Rida said.

“I strenuously denied this while revealing that I voted for Qatar during the voting process to host the 2022 World Cup, despite other committee members refraining from saying whom they voted for,” he added.

Asked whether he had been worried by the FIFA investigation or not the 63-year-old said: “I wasn’t worried at all. I was under no pressure whatsoever. I even told Garcia that I was the only member of the 25 FIFA members who wasn’t under any pressure because I had already announced that I voted for Qatar – being an Arab nation.

“When Garcia asked me who I had voted for to win the 2018 World Cup hosting rights, I told him that it was none of his business,” he added.

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