Qatar has been cleared of corruption allegations over its 2022 bid to host the football World Cup, but England has come under criticism in a Fifa report.
After a two year investigation led by US layer Michael Garcia, established after a series of corruption allegations, the report cleared both Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing in securing the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
However, Fifa claims that England’s Football Association (FA) behaved improperly in trying to influence the decision of a key voter in its bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
The report alleges that the FA attempted to “curry favour” with Trinidadian Fifa official Jack Warner by sponsoring a £35,000 gala dinner for the Caribbean Football Union, letting the Trinidad & Tobago Under-20 squad hold a training camp in the UK in the summer of 2009, and trying to help a “person of interest to him” to find part-time work in the UK.
The allegations have been strongly denied by the FA, which said:
“We do not accept any criticism regarding the integrity of England’s bid or any of the individuals involved.
“We conducted a transparent bid and, as the report demonstrates with its reference to the England bid team’s ‘full and valuable cooperation’, willingly complied with the investigation. We maintain that transparency and cooperation around this entire process from all involved is crucial to its credibility.”
Whilst Qatar may have been cleared of corruption in their bids, the report did find some problems with the conduct of “specific individuals” involved in the process, and concluded that payments by disgraced former Fifa vice-president Mohamed bin Hammam to high ranking officials were for his personal political interests and not related to the 2022 bid.
The report also noted that Russia had provided “only a limited amount of documents available for review” by the investigators, implying that any conclusions about their bid were superficial.