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Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010

England accused of racism: Ogura

Kyodo News

Japanese World Cup bid chief Junji Ogura said Tuesday that some members of the FIFA executive committee felt racism triggered reports of bribery by the Sunday Times and the BBC, which turned votes against England's bid for the 2018 tournament.

Ogura, who had one of 22 votes in Thursday's voting for the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, said his peers at world soccer's governing body even considered taking the Sunday Times to court, irate over the sting operation that saw Nigeria's Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti banned from the decision-making process.

England was eliminated in the first round of voting. Russia won the 2018 hosting rights in the next round.

"The African members of the executive committee were furious over the Sunday Times report," Ogura said at Japan Football Association headquarters.

"The idea of suing the paper at the executive committee meeting was even brought up. The people being accused were from Africa and Oceania, not Europe or Asia, and some felt racism was behind it."

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