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Top FIFA official hits out at double vote

Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam has criticised FIFA's decision to choose the organisers of two World Cups at the same time.

sports Updated: Nov 17, 2010 21:07 IST

Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam has criticised FIFA's decision to choose the organisers of two World Cups at the same time.

England, Russia and joint bids by Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium are in the running to host the 2018 World Cup while Australia, the United States, Japan, Qatar and South Korea are bidding for 2022.

However the process has been hit with controversy, with newspaper allegations of possible vote-buying and collusion between bidders. So far, two FIFA members have been suspended and the body will on Thursday announce the outcome of a probe into the allegations.

Bin Hammam, a member of FIFA's executive committee, believes FIFA should never again allow two editions of the World Cup to be voted on at the same time.

He believes voting for one tournament at a time will reduce the possibility of corruption allegations that have plunged the process into crisis.

"I hope it's the last time," Bin Hammam told the Aspire4Sport conference in Doha on Wednesday.

"From the beginning the Asian members, including me, were not convinced that deciding two World Cups at the same time was a good idea.

"I raised my voice and said the decision for 2022 should perhaps have been in 2016, or maybe 2014, and that it was not appropriate for people sitting in the FIFA executive committee today to make that decision.

"We raised so many objections but the vote was taken and we were outvoted. I hope people have realised that it was wrong."

The ethics committee of world football's governing body has been meeting since Monday in an attempt to complete its investigation after two of the 24 members of FIFA's executive committee were provisionally suspended last month.

Four other football officials and ex-FIFA decision makers were also sidelined following the claims of possible vote buying raised in a controversial sting by undercover reporters for a British newspaper.

FIFA has also scheduled a meeting of its decision-making executive committee for Friday, a spokesperson told AFP, but no further details were given.

Bin Hammam, one of FIFA's most influential members, said: "I trust the committee and I'm sure they will come to the right decision to protect the integrity of the game.

"From where I am sitting, I would like someone to tell me what the collusion is. It may be nice to say something is happening between Qatar and another bidder but please tell me exactly what it is?"