A young soccer fan waves to the plane carrying the Belgian soccer team, departing from Brussels airport to Sao Paulo, in Brussels, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Belgium will play against South Korea, Russia and Algeria in Group H of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
World soccer’s governing body, FIFA, is facing new allegations of corruption over its contentious decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper recently revealed it had evidence that a Qatari football official spent $5 million in bribes to FIFA officials in exchange for their support for the country’s bid to host the event.
Qatar has denied the allegations, but an inquiry has been launched into the bidding process. If any wrongdoing is uncovered, Qatar could be stripped of the right to host the World Cup and a re-vote would have to take place.
British investigative reporter Andrew Jennings — who is best known for his work uncovering corruption in FIFA and the International Olympic Committee — says he is not surprised by the fresh allegations.
In a recent interview, he says that FIFA has the same level of corruption as organized crime.
(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)
Confederation of African Football President Issa Hayatou, right, speaks as FIFA President Sepp Blatter, left, looks on during a joint press conference in Libreville, Gabon, in this Feb. 10, 2012 file photo. FIFA vice president and African football head Issa Hayatou denied allegations Sunday June 1, 2014 made against him by British newspaper The Sunday Times that he received favors for voting for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. In a statement late Sunday night, the Confederation of African Football called the corruption allegations against its president “fanciful” and “ridiculous.”
With the World Cup just a few short days away, check out these photos that show how Brazil is preparing for the matches:
One of the biggest stars of the 2010 World Cup wasn’t on the field…and wasn’t even human. It was Paul, an Octopus who lived at a German aquarium and correctly picked the results of Germany’s seven World Cup matches by eating food out of one of two containers: one with a German flag, the other with the flag of Germany’s opponent.
Sadly, Paul died in October 2010. But this year, there’s already a new World Cup star from the animal kingdom: Nelly the Elephant.
Nelly is not a novice – she has successfully predicted the results of 30 of the 33 matches during the women’s World Cup in 2006, the World Cup in 2010, and Euro 2012. Before this year’s tournament has even started, she’s already made her first predictions: wins for Germany in its first three matches.
So if you’re trying to pick a winner this year, you might want to ignore the odds, and instead go with the elephant.