7 Dec 2010

Australia played World Cup bid "too clean"

7:01 am on 7 December 2010

The controversial World Cup football consultant Peter Hargitay says Australia's biggest mistake was "playing it clean" during the failed bid in Zurich.

Hargitay, employed by the Australian bid team to gain access to FIFA powerbrokers and strategise for votes, was one of the main go-to men in the nation's failed attempt to host the 2022 World Cup.

But just one vote came Australia's way after they'd spent $45 million on their bid to host the 2022 World Cup finals.

Hargitay, a former aide to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, said Australia's team had run a clean bid without financial inducements, under the instructions of boss Frank Lowy, but Hargitay was coy when asked whether committee members votes had been bought.

Hargitay said FIFA executive committee members had lied to Lowy and Australia's bid team, with the six votes they had been promised pre-ballot evaporating to just one vote, and a humiliating first-round elimination.