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More World Cup bid corruption claims

Posted by Warren Fyfe on November 30, 2014 in Warren Fyfe Site

More allegations of corruption during the bidding process to stage the World Cups in 2018 and 2022 have been made.

The House of Commons Culture Media and Sport select committee has published previously unseen material submitted to it by the

Sunday Times newspaper. 

It draws on claims by senior sources that officials connected to England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup ran an intelligence-gathering operation against rival nations.

Russia and Qatar won the bids.

This submission by the Sunday Times outlines how England 2018 executives compiled a database of rumours and intelligence – gathered by private companies and, significantly, British embassies.

There is, however, no clear evidence supplied by the paper.

Instead, its submission provides detailed accounts of how votes were allegedly bought and sold in the build-up to the December 2010 poll – and how Fifa’s opaque rules for bidding nations were exploited.

The paper claims Russia’s President Vladimir Putin played a major role in his country’s winning bid, even, it says, enlisting Fifa’s president Sepp Blatter to help lobby for votes.

Another claim suggests the Russia bid had lobbied for the support of Michel Platini – the Uefa president and voter – by giving him a painting believed to have been a Picasso.

There are also allegations about Qatar, and how its dominance in the natural gas industry helped it secure votes through bilateral trade deals.

Russia, the 2018 World Cup hosts, and Qatar, who will hold the 2022 tournament, have always denied any wrongdoing, and a recent, albeit disputed, summary of a

Fifa inquiry cleared them.

The Football Association said in a statement: “The FA can confirm the England 2018 bid engaged with a number of parties around the world to provide general and background information on the progress of the bidding process within different countries and perspectives.

“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 [Michael Garcia conducted a two-year inquiry into alleged corruption within Fifa] as part of the investigative process.

“The FA reiterates that it has fully complied with all disclosure requests made by Mr Garcia.”

Culture Media and Sport select committee chairman John Whittingdale MP has told BBC Sport that, in light of the Sunday Times submission, he would like to hear from FA executives to ascertain if the ‘database’ exists and, if so, for them to outline its contents.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30264098

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