Russia and Qatar football World Cup bids upheld

FIFA President Joseph Blatter flanked by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Keystone

The ethics committee of the Zurich-based soccer governing body FIFA gave the all clear to the 2018 and 2022 football World Cup bids of Russia and Qatar respectively on Thursday. The lawyer who led the FIFA investigation disagrees.

This content was published on November 13, 2014 minutes and agencies

In its report into investigations of corruption in awarding the World Cup to Russia and Qatar, the ethics committee led by Hans-Joachim Eckert said "the various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole.”

The report follows an investigation by prosecutor Michael Garcia into the bidding process that FIFA has been reluctant to reveal in full. However, the report does state that Garcia intends to commence a formal investigation against certain unnamed  individuals.

However, hours after the report was released, Garcia disputed its conclusions saying that they were based on erroneous and incomplete information.

"Today's decision by (Eckert) contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the Investigatory Chamber's report," Garcia's stated. "I intend to appeal this decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee."

Besides Russia and Qatar, the ethics committee also examined bids from other countries. England and Australia, who competed against Russia and Qatar for the 2018 and 2022 bids came in for special criticism from FIFA. England was reprimanded for “inappropriate requests" from former FIFA executive committee member Jack Warner, who backed England’s 2018 bid while Australia’s 2022 bid team were criticised for trying to gain the support of a FIFA executive committee member.

The ethics report also cleared FIFA president Sepp Blatter of improper conduct saying that an allegation concerning an account supposedly held by him in a U.S bank was “demonstrably false". 

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