A Fairfax Media report says FIFA’s top investigator, Michael Garcia, recently flew Football Federation Australia’s former head of corporate affairs Bonita Mersiades to New York for interviews.
Garcia, according to the report, was sounding out Australia’s links to two allegedly corrupt former FIFA officials.
This comes after the Sunday Times claimed to have proof bribes were paid to secure Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid, which could potentially cause a new vote.
Australia spent millions of dollars on its failed bid for the 2022 world cup. David Gallop, the FFA chief, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Australia re-entering the race to host the event if Qatar loses it as a result of the allegations.
The Sunday Times story says former Qatari FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam allegedly made around $5 million in payments to football officials to secure the event.
This includes payments to two allegedly corrupt officials who Australia was lobbying in 2010, Jack Warner and Reynald Temarii.
Mersiades told Fairfax Media:
”The revelations in The Sunday Times about the way Bin Hammam used hospitality, gifts, perks, and upgrades of stadiums to win bid support has parallels with the manner in which Australia used some of its funds during its bidding campaign. Just look at the FFA funds that landed in Warner’s account and which have never been recovered.”
A separate 2013 inquiry found that Warner allegedly stole $500,000 in Australian football funds he had requested to upgrade a stadium, according to the Fairfax Media report.
There’s more here.
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