The suspension of Oceania delegate Reynard Temarii from Fifa’s executive committee has shocked Australian football, which counted on him voting for its bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Temarii was suspended from all football-related activity for a year yesterday after being caught in a newspaper sting allegedly offering his vote in exchange for financial support for a football academy in New Zealand.
His suspension, and a longer ban imposed on Amos Adamu of Nigeria, means the decision by Fifa’s executive committee on the venues for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will proceed with 22 rather than 24 delegates on December 3 in Zurich.
Tahitian Temarii is president of the Oceania confederation, and that confederation’s major nation New Zealand said Australia’s 2022 ambitions would be hurt by his absence from voting.
“Without a doubt, the Aussies will be more disappointed than us,” Football New Zealand chief executive Michael Glading said. “Whether our (Oceania’s) vote would have had a bearing on the result remains to be seen.”
Australia faces opposition from Qatar, the United States, Japan, and South Korea for the 2022 tournament. The United States hosted the tournament in 1994 while Japan and South Korea co-hosted the 2002 World Cup.
“Talking to Australians this week they feel their chances are 50/50. I hope for them they do (get it),” Glading said.
Football Federation Australia said today it had no official comment on the Fifa decision.