Spain-Portugal deny World Cup bid collusion

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 09:54 hrs

Madrid: The joint Spanish and Portuguese bid to host the 2018 World Cup have denied allegations they agreed a pact with Qatar, who are bidding for the 2022 edition, to manipulate the voting process.

Soccer's world governing body FIFA are investigating claims of collusion and vote-swapping for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, which is banned and can lead to disqualification.

Last week, FIFA provisionally suspended two members of their executive committee, which begins a two-day meeting on Thursday to address the bidding process, over allegations they offered to sell their votes to undercover newspaper reporters from a British newspaper.

FIFA tries to untangle World Cup voting

"The Iberian bid already told FIFA last Wednesday that it does not have any agreement with any other bidding nation," Miguel Angel Lopez, chief executive of the Spanish/Portuguese candidacy, said in a statement on Thursday.

They had offered FIFA full cooperation in the investigation, he added.

FIFA's executive committee is due to announce the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Zurich on Dec. 2.

Russia, England, Spain/ Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands are bidding for 2018 and Japan, South Korea, Australia, United States and Qatar want 2022.

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