Author Topic: World Cup Bidding Process 'Completely Corrupt'  (Read 1250 times)

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World Cup Bidding Process 'Completely Corrupt'
« on: November 30, 2014, 01:42:11 PM »

England's 2018 World Cup bidding team is facing questions over a secret dossier which contains claims of corruption by Qatar and Russia during the bidding process.

The dossier also claims England and South Korea agreed to swap votes on the eve of the ballot to decide who would host the tournaments.

The allegations are contained in files handed to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select committee by The Sunday Times. The paper says MPs were unaware of the dossier.

John Whittingdale, chair of the committee, told Sky News "questions need to be answered" and added: "A lot of it is reports and hearsay, it isn't necessarily hard evidence, it isn’t proven.

"But nevertheless, when it's taken together with all the other evidence that has already been accumulated, it does paint a picture of a deeply corrupt organisation and that the whole of the bidding process was completely flawed."

The paper reports that a former MI6 operative and a team of investigators produced a dossier alleging that Russia and Qatar - the successful bidders for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively - colluded to swap votes ahead of the secret ballot.

The dossier contains a raft of unproven allegations that a number of voting officials received financial or material incentives through the back door in exchange for votes.

Sky reporter Sean Dilley said: "At this stage, MPs want clarification on whether secret intelligence exists, and if it does they would like to see it."

He added: "Parliamentary sources tell me that if anyone from the bid team has knowingly misled the committee of MPs, they could be held in contempt of Parliament.

"They simply don't understand why anyone would withhold evidence on the basis of supposed risk of being sued since any submission would certainly have been covered by parliamentary privilege."

The revelation comes in the wake of a report by US lawyer Michael Garcia, a summary of which cleared Qatar and Russia of any wrongdoing.

However, Mr Garcia has said the summary, which was written by a senior official on FIFA's ethics committee, is factually wrong and misrepresented his conclusions.

FIFA has declined to publish the report in full.

Senior sources from England's bid team told the paper that they did not reveal the existence of the database because it contained unproven claims and they were worried about potential legal action from the individuals named in it.

According to the Sunday Times, the bid team did not tell Mr Garcia about the intelligence because FIFA refused to give witnesses protection against the prospect of legal action from individuals implicated in evidence and because of concerns about protecting sources.

The Football Association said in a statement: "These were media and corporate affairs consultants engaged on a confidential basis to gather intelligence.

"The fact the bid team had taken advice on intelligence-gathering was referenced to Mr Garcia as part of the investigative process."

Russia's 2018 bid team said in a statement it "categorically rejects" all of the claims in The Sunday Times article as "entirely unfounded speculation".

"These allegations are not new, but the evidence has only ever indicated that Russia 2018 behaved professionally and fairly throughout the bidding process," it said.