ENGLAND’S dream of hosting the World Cup in 2018 has been boosted by the FIFA bribes row.
An investigation exposed some members of a key FIFA committee secretly touting for cash to vote for rival nations.
And experts said the storm could increase our chances of landing the tournament because it proved England’s bid was not corrupt.
During the investigation a former FIFA official told undercover Sunday Times journalists we had hampered our own chances because the FA did not resort to bungs.
He said: “England have got all the good reasons why they should host it but don’t strike the deals.”
Investigators posing as lobbyists for the US bid had covertly filmed Amos Adamu, head of the West African Football Union, asking for £500,000 to “guarantee” his support.
Nigerian Adamu claimed the money was for building pitches.
Fellow FIFA executive committee member Reynald Temarii, of Tahiti, allegedly asked for £1.5million for a sport academy. Temarii also boasted that bribes of £6million had been offered by two rival nations.
Business leader Sir Keith Mills said: “FIFA will take this very seriously. Neither I nor my colleagues had any idea this was going on.”
Another source said: “It can only help our cause if bribery is rooted out because England’s bid is clean.”
The hosts of the 2018 Cup will be decided by FIFA’s executive committee by ballot on December 2.
England is up against rivals Russia and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium, with the US since having dropped out.
At a secret meeting in London, journalists approached Adamu to strike a deal for his vote for what he thought was the American bid.
After asking for 800,000 dollars, about £500,000, he said: “Certainly if you are to invest that, that means you also want the vote.”
In Auckland, New Zealand, Oceania Football Confederation president Reynald Temarii claimed two bid committees had offered between ten million and 12 million dollars.
Temarii, a former French footballer, said he was “keen to discuss” finance for a sports academy.
Former FIFA official Ahongalu Fusimalohi, from Tonga, was secretly filmed saying England’s bid had been hindered by not offering bribes like some other bidders.
He said: “England don’t strike the deals. These people will go all over the world to get it at any price.”
The investigators also met Ismail Bhamjee, from Botswana, who was forced to resign as a FIFA official over a tickets scandal in 2006.
Temarii said he was “confident” about his “integrity”. _ but admitted: “I made a mistake by talking in that way. I asked the FIFA president to investigate.”