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2022 bid integrity upheld

2022 bid integrity upheld

Reuters & IANS
Qatar's 2022 World Cup organisers have welcomed a long-awaited FIFA report on the race to host the tournament, saying the conclusions represented"a vindication of the integrity"of Doha's bid.
The report, which also investigated the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup, made no suggestion that either Russia or Qatar should lose the right to stage the tournament, despite detailing numerous attempts to influence voting officials.
The 430-page report had been under wraps since being completed by FIFA's then-ethics investigator Michael Garcia in November 2014.
FIFA, soccer's global governing body, chose to publish on Tuesday after the document was leaked to the German newspaper Bild.
"Although we question the timing of the leak, we welcome the publication of the Garcia report,"Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said in a statement.
"We believe that the extent of our cooperation with this investigation and the conclusions drawn represent a vindication of the integrity of our bid."
Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 tournament in a single vote in Zurich in December, 2010. Qatar will be the first country in the Middle East to host the tournament.
In the report, Garcia wrote that Qatar"may not have met the standards set out in the FIFA code of ethics or the bid rules"but added, in mitigation, that it only was due to its cooperation that the issues were uncovered.
Qatar said earlier this month a rift with fellow Gulf Arab states that includes economic sanctions on Doha has not affected its preparations to host the World Cup, and alternative sources for construction materials had been secured.
FIFA has said it is in"regular contact"with Qatar, after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting Iran and funding Islamist groups. Qatar denies the charges.
In the running alongside Russia to stage the 2018 World Cup were England and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and the Netherlands/Belgium. Qatar's rivals for the 2022 tournament were Australia, Japan, the United States and South Korea.
Football Federation Australia, whose publicly funded $35 million-bid to host the 2022 World Cup garnered one vote, also welcomed the report and said it contained no new"substantive"matters which have not already been investigated or reported.
"FFA has said repeatedly that the bid process for 2018 and 2022 was deeply flawed and that mistakes were made by the Australian bid team,"read a statement.
"However, FFA notes that FIFA continues to reform its governance, including relating to future tournament bids, and is confident mistakes of the past will not be repeated."

FIFA report nails England malpractices in 2018 World Cup bid
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 F`d`ration 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.