THE LIBERAL Democrat MEP for the south east has called on all EU countries to withdraw their national teams from the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar unless the bids are re-run and allegations of corruption are properly dealt with.
In a European Parliament debate on the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) scandal, Catherine Bearder urged countries around Europe to show a united front in boycotting the tournaments until the beleaguered organisation cleans up its act.
The European Parliament is set to vote tomorrow (Thursday) on a resolution which will call for:
• FIFA president Sepp Blatter to stand down immediately so an interim president can be appointed
• a full review to be launched into the Qatar and Russia World Cup bids
• FIFA’s Executive Committee to put in place wholesale reforms to improve transparency and root out corruption
Ms Bearder said: "The endemic corruption in FIFA is tarnishing the whole sport with the same brush. We need to send a strong message to FIFA that they cannot continue to get away with dragging the beautiful game through the mud.
"I’m urging all EU countries to withdraw their national teams from both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments unless FIFA cleans up its act. Sepp Blatter must go immediately, and whoever replaces him must re-run the Qatar and Russia World Cup bidding process in a fair and transparent way."