London: Former FIFA member Franz Beckenbauer declared yesterday that his vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids would remain a "secret", but said he was not offered any bribes.
Beckenbauer was on the FIFA executive committee that awarded the rights to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively in 2010.
The bidding process has been dogged by accusations of corruption and horse-trading, but Beckenbauer refused to reveal how he had voted, telling the Securing Sport conference in London: “That’s my secret.”
When asked whether he had been offered any financial inducements to vote in a particular way, the former West Germany captain and coach responded: “That’s a clear ‘no’. “How shall I say this? Nobody approached me directly, nobody offered me anything in order to influence my vote. No, this did not happen.”
He added: “It was a secret ballot and I have to observe this agreement made at the time. I was surprised, too, that Qatar was chosen. That was my first reaction. The bid was very good by Qatar, like all the others.”