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World Cup bid-rigging: Investigator indicts ‘certain individuals’

A number of people could face disciplinary action after FIFA’s ethics investigator Michael Garcia delivered a 350-page report following his year-long investigation into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The report “reaches conclusions concerning further action with respect to certain individuals” said a statement from the independent ethics committee, but it will be up to the adjudicatory chamber led by a German judge to decide on what action that will be.

That decision by Hans-Joachim Eckert is unlikely to be made before the end of October, and Eckert will also decide if the report will be made public.
The statement made no reference to any possible action against the winners of the bids, Russia for the 2018 tournament and Qatar for 2022.

Garcia’s report does however recommend changes to the bidding process for future World Cups.
The statement said: “Over the course of this year-long investigation, the investigatory chamber interviewed more than 75 witnesses and compiled a record that, in addition to audio recordings from interviews, includes more than 200,000 pages of relevant material.

“The report sets forth detailed factual findings; reaches conclusions concerning further action with respect to certain individuals; identifies issues to be referred to other FIFA committees; and makes recommendations for future bidding processes.
“Pursuant to the FIFA code of ethics, the adjudicatory chamber will now make a final decision on the report and supplemental reports, including publication.”

Officials from England’s unsuccessful bid for the 2018 World Cup were among those who gave evidence to Garcia and his deputy chairman Cornel Borbely.
The investigation looked into a number of allegations of corruption as well as incentives offered to FIFA executive members such as friendly internationals, development money, commercial opportunities and sponsorships.

The bidding nations were: Russia, England, Holland/Belgium and Spain/Portugal for 2018, and Qatar, the United States, Australia, Japan and Korea for 2022.


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