The long awaited probe into the controversial bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup has finally been released – and Australia’s attempt to gain the favour of FIFA committee members in exchange for votes has been exposed.
According to the report, released today, Australia tried to redirect government aid money towards nations who could help gain a successful bid.
The report reads:
“There are indications that the Australian 2022 bid team attempted to direct funds the Australian government had set aside for existing development projects in Africa towards initiatives in countries with ties to FIFA executive committee members with the intention to advance its bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
Australia’s FIFA committee was also revealed to have attempted “to gain the support of a FIFA executive committee member” and have contact with the notorious “bid consultants” – Peter Hargitay and Fedor Radmann.
Despite the “several different occurrences involving the Australia 2022 bid that displayed potentially problematic connections between financial and other support for ‘football development’ and the bidding process”, Australia only attracted one vote in support for its bid and has been cleared of any misconduct.
“FIFA welcomes the fact that a degree of closure has been reached. As such, FIFA looks forward to continuing the preparations for Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, which are already well underway,” the report states.
Since its release however, ethics investigator Michael Garcia has disowned the report, saying FIFA fudged his Qatar World Cup corruption findings.
“Today’s decision by the Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the Investigatory Chamber’s report,” he said.
Read more here.
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