• Football

FIFA to criticise England World Cup bid

ESPN staff
November 12, 2014
The FIFA report will be made available to the public © Getty Images

England is set to be criticised in a report into World Cup bidding but Qatar is expected to escape any censure that would threaten the Middle Eastern state hosting the 2022 tournament.

German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA's independent ethics committee, has confirmed his 42-page initial findings of the investigation into 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding will be published on Thursday.

The Press Association reports that England's wooing of Jack Warner, the former FIFA vice-president who resigned in disgrace in 2010, is set to be highlighted. These include paying for a gala dinner worth £35,000 for Caribbean football officials and organising an England friendly against Trinidad.

Neither of the leaders of England's 2018 bid at the time have ties with the FA any longer. Chairman Lord Triesman, who had accused four FIFA executive committee members of requesting gifts in return for votes, had resigned his post in 2010 while chief executive Andy Anson was appointed independent director of the British Olympic Association in 2011.

The investigation by American attorney Michael Garcia has looked into the bidding processes by all countries that contested the 2010 vote for the World Cups.

FIFA's executive committee made Russia the hosts of the 2018 competition, ahead of England - which won just two votes - plus joint bids by Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal. The 2022 tournament went to Qatar, which beat the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

It is not thought that England or any of the bidding countries will face sanctions as a result of the Garcia investigation but that recommendations will be made on how FIFA conducts bids in the future.

That would come as a huge relief to Qatar following a series of allegations involving Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari former FIFA executive committee member who was banned for life by FIFA.

Bin Hammam is alleged to have organised payments and sweeteners for Warner and other officials, but Qatar World Cup officials have always insisted he was separate from the bid team. Bin Hammam was also involved in challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency in 2011 before he withdrew from the race after it was alleged he made payments to Caribbean officials.

FIFA issued a statement on Wednesday saying: "The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, confirms that a statement relating to the investigatory chamber's report on the inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process will be made publicly available on November 13 at approximately 10.00 CET [0900 GMT]."

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