December 6th, 2010
03:04 PM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Julio Grondona

The Argentine Football Association president is at the center of widespread allegations of FIFA corruption after soccer’s governing body awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.

Grondona has emphatically denied the allegations, telling the Argentine new outlet Telam, “There has to be an end to playing with my good name,” according to ESPN.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, a former employee of Qatar’s bid team said that an adviser recommended the Qatar Football Association pay $78.4 million to help the Argentine Football Association cope with a financial crisis. The payment reportedly was meant to help Qatar’s relationship with Grondona, who is on FIFA’s executive committee, which determines host cities.

According to ESPN, Grondona questioned why the Argentine group would have a debt so large and further told Telam, “I am not going to give any credence to whatever people say. The fact is the AFA has a solid contract with the Argentine government, and it is all going quite well.”

This allegation, of course, is not the first involving corruption by FIFA officials. BBC’s "Panorama" aired an investigation last month in which “reporter Andrew Jennings exposes new evidence of bribery, and accuses some executives of taking kickbacks.”

You have only to Google “FIFA World Cup bribe” to find a slew of allegations.

It’s worth noting that no FIFA official has been charged with any wrongdoing, and though many commenters have angrily vented about their country not being selected, few such complaints seem to originate in Russia or Qatar.

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