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Profile: Andy Anson
Andy Anson was a participant or observer in the following events:
Andy Anson, chief executive of the English bid team for the 2018 World Cup says that of the 24 members of FIFA’s executive committee who will vote on the World Cup’s allocation, “at least 13 are buyable.” The comments are made to a closed gathering of senior civil servants, including a Downing Street representative, a few journalists, and other members of the bid team at a dinner party in a private room of the InterContinental hotel in Mayfair, London. Anson makes the statement in response to a question about corruption at FIFA, adding that he and his team had come to this conclusion after much thought. According to Patrick Collins, a Daily Mail journalist present: “[Anson’s] colleagues coughed loudly and fixed him with incinerating glares. Somebody explained that the notion of ‘buying’ delegates had never crossed English minds. Anson realised the import of his remark and started to retract. Later, we were spun the line that things had been said which could easily be taken the wrong way.” Following the World Cup’s allocation to Russia, Collins will publish details of the conversation, despite the fact that it was conducted on an off-the-record basis. He will say he is doing so because by its reaction to the numerous corruption allegations made against FIFA during the bidding process the bid team “so lightly shed integrity and self-respect.” [Daily Mail, 12/5/2010]
FIFA president Sepp Blatter warns fellow members of the organization’s executive committee of the “evils of the media” shortly before they vote on who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The remarks will be interpreted by some as encouragement not to vote for the English campaign, as the English media outlets Panorama and the Sunday Times have recently exposed corruption at FIFA. England will actually be eliminated in the first round of voting (see Around 2:00 p.m. December 2, 2010). Andy Anson, the chief executive of the failed English bid, will later say: “I think that was unhelpful—the last thing those guys hear before they go and tick the box is the evil of the media. That is not helpful and actually inaccurate. I was told by someone who was in the room that that’s the last thing they were told by Sepp Blatter. There was a final sum-up before they voted and I think it was at the beginning of that.” [Press Association (London), 12/3/2011] It is unclear who the “someone who was in the room” is. However, one of the voters in the room is Geoff Thompson, chairman of England’s bid. [BBC, 12/2/2010]
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