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2022 Wold Cup vote must be re-run if corruption proved, says Goldsmith

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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2022 Wold Cup vote must be re-run if corruption proved, says Goldsmith | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The vote for the hosting of the 2022 World Cup must be re-run if corruption allegations surrounding Qatar’s winning campaign are proved to be accurate, Lord Goldsmith, a member of FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee, said on Monday.

A British newspaper on Sunday claimed it had evidence that around $5 million (3 million pounds) was paid to officials in return for votes for Qatar’s successful bid, allegations organizers have “vehemently” denied.

Goldsmith, Britain’s former Attorney General, said that if football’s world governing body was to weather scandals surrounding World Cup bids, it had to “to produce a convincing and transparent answer to these allegations”.

“I believe that if these allegations are shown to be true, then the hosting decision for Qatar has to be rerun,” he told BBC radio.

The man at the center of the allegations, Qatari former FIFA executive committee member and Asian Football Confederation chief Mohamed Bin Hammam, was not an official member of the bid team and has yet to comment publicly on the allegations.

Football’s world governing body had already launched an investigation into corruption allegations surrounding the bid, headed by American lawyer Michael Garcia, which was expected to report this year.

Muddied waters

If the unprecedented decision was taken to re-run the vote, it is fair to assume that the losers in the 2010 ballot, who had already spent millions of dollars satisfying the technical criteria for a bid, would be in the frame.

The convoluted way the 2018 and 2022 bidding processes became intertwined muddies the waters somewhat, but the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia could all claim to have been most hard-done-by if any corruption was proven.

The United States, who finished second to Qatar in the final round of voting, has enough quality venues already functioning to host two World Cups.

They also have plentiful hotels and a track record of organizing big events well, including the 1994 World Cup which is still the best-attended tournament.

The American line has been consistent throughout the controversy that has surrounded the Qatar triumph – that their sole focus is now on hosting the tournament in 2026.

Regional governing body CONCACAF have expressed a similar priority, although they are not necessarily committed to the US being their preferred choice as hosts.

“From a CONCACAF perspective, our focus for the World Cup is 2026. We’re committed to that,” CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb told reporters in New York last month.

Australia garnered just one vote in the first round of voting, but similarly, would also not need to embark on major venue or infrastructure construction if another host was required for 2022.

The country invested A$43 million (23.89 million pounds) in their bid to host the tournament for the first time, though, and could find the political will to fund another attempt may be lacking.

Serious allegations

Football Federation Australia (FFA) supremo Frank Lowy, the billionaire who has overseen huge growth in soccer’s popularity in the country, may yet decide to chance his arm at another run at securing what would be the crowning achievement of his footballing life.

“We note these are very serious allegations,” an FFA spokesman said.

“We’ve been monitoring FIFA’s investigations for many months and we’ll be keenly interested in their response. But at this stage, we can only continue to encourage a thorough process which covers all the facts as soon as possible.” South Korea co-hosted the 2002 tournament with Japan and is gearing up to host the Asian Games, the world’s second largest multi-sport gathering after the Olympics, in Incheon later this year.

“We have no official statement as of yet since the allegation is not officially confirmed,” an official at the Korean FA said on Monday.

“When it is confirmed and there’s a re-run, the head and other senior members of the association will discuss the matter then. Nothing to say at the moment.”

Nobody was available to comment at the Japanese Football Association (JFA) headquarters in Tokyo on Monday.

JFA president Kuniya Daini was forced to issue an apology earlier this year, however, after suggesting Japan’s preparations for the 2020 Olympics meant it could to step in to replace Qatar if FIFA decided not to stage the tournament there.

FIFA’s annual congress starts on June 10 in Sao Paulo and minds are sure to be concentrated with the world’s headlines now focusing on corruption allegations and not the showpiece World Cup tournament that starts in Brazil two days later.

— Reuters

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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