Women's World Cup will not be hurt by FIFA scandal, officials say
'The game's the thing as far as I'm concerned,' says Coun. Bryan Andersen
Edmonton organizers of the women's World Cup of Soccer are not expecting the FIFA corruption scandal to dampen interest in the tournament.
- FIFA soccer officials arrested as U.S., Swtzerland probe corruption
- Jack Warner, indicted amid FIFA probe, had ties to Canadian soccer
The event, organized by FIFA, kicks off in Edmonton on June 6, just little over a week after justice officials in the United States accused 14 FIFA officials of accepting bribes and kickbacks estimated at over $150 million (US) over 24 years.
Nine officials and five corporate executives are facing racketeering, conspiracy and corruption charges. Six guilty pleas have been entered in U.S. Federal Court.
While Coun. Bryan Anderson called the scandal disappointing, he does not think soccer fans will turn away from the tournament.
"There's no suggestion that the players on the field have done anything inappropriate," Anderson said.
"The game's the thing as far as I'm concerned.
"People in the stands will not be dwelling during any of the games that they are watching on the negativity that surrounds this breach of public confidence by FIFA officials."
Canada's sports minister also said the scandal will not tarnish the World Cup, stressing he's confident that Canadian soccer authorities won't be pulled into any criminal investigations.