Tuesday, March 28, 2023

FIFA report nails England malpractices in 2018 World Cup bid


Moscow, June 29 (IANS) Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron asked South Korean football officials to trade votes seeking to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup bid, in a violation of FIFA rules, a report by the game’s world governing body on the inquiry into the bidding process has said.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) published a full report on Tuesday about the investigation into the organisation’s decisions to award the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 to Russia and Qatar, respectively, reports Sputnik news agency.

The probe was carried out by the former chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee Investigatory Chamber, US prosecutor Michael Garcia.

According to the report, Geoff Thompson, the former Chairman of England’s 2018 bid team and FIFA vice-president, admitted agreeing to trade votes, with England’s bid team CEO Andy Anson confirming this information.

“According to their statements, shortly before the vote they attended a meeting at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich with England’s Prince William, Prime Minister David Cameron, and FIFA Vice President Mong-Joon Chung of Korea, which was bidding to host the World Cup in 2022.

“The Prime Minister asked Chung to vote for England’s bid, and Chung responded that he would if Mr. Thompson voted for Korea. Thompson, who said he had been thinking about voting for Korea even before the meeting with Chung, agreed,” the report said, adding that Chung denied the allegation.

The report added that Thompson’s confession was a lot more trustworthy than Chung’s denial.

Russia and Qatar were announced as hosting countries of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups respectively in the Swiss city of Zurich in December 2010.

According to the FIFA report, there was no evidence that Russia or Qatar attempted to influence the bidding process.

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