In a long-awaited report, the committee said that "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
The report criticized England's bid for the 2018 tournament for
bowing to "inappropriate requests" from former CONCACAF president
Jack Warner, a FIFA powerbroker at the time, in what it said was "an
apparent violation of bidding rules".
It also said that in Australia's bid for 2022 "there are certain
indications of potentially problematic conduct of specific
individuals in the light of relevant FIFA Ethics rules.
"The occurrences at issue were... only of very limited scope," it
"In particular, the effects of these occurrences on the bidding
process as a whole were far from reaching any threshold that would
require returning to the bidding process, let alone reopening it --
a decision which anyway would not fall under the FIFA Ethics
"The assessment of the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups bidding process is
therefore closed for the FIFA Ethics Committee."
However, the report said ethics investigator Michael Garcia intended
to open formal investigations against individuals, who were not
FIFA and Qatar World Cup organizers have been fending off
allegations of corruption ever since the Gulf state was awarded the
Qatar, which has repeatedly denied the allegations, has also been
criticized over its treatment of migrant workers in the construction
The 2018 tournament was awarded to Russia as part of the same
bidding process which culminated in December 2010.
FIFA said in a statement that it welcomed the report and looks
forward to continuing the preparations for Russia 2018 and Qatar
2022, "which are already well underway".
In the case of Qatar, the report said "there are certain indications
of potentially problematic conduct of specific individuals in the
light of relevant FIFA Ethics rules" which did not compromise the
It said that the relationship between former Asian Football
Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam, banned for life by FIFA
in 2011, and the Qatar bidding team was a "distant relative to the
relationships of other FIFA Executive Committee members from bid
The report said that it could not find any evidence of misconduct
connected to the Russian bid, although it added that not all records
had been available to the investigation.
"The Russia 2018 Bid Committee made only a limited amount of
documents available for review."
"The computers used at the time by the Russia Bid Committee had been
leased and then returned to their owner after the Bidding Process.
The owner has confirmed that the computers were destroyed in the
[to top of second column]
Much of the report was procedural and devoted to explaining the
background to World Cup bidding processes and FIFA ethics
Although it avoided naming individuals it said that two veteran FIFA
executive committee members had resisted efforts to "hold them to
the same rules as bid teams".
It also said that "two of the executive committee's most senior
members challenged the Ethics Committee's independence and
The report concluded that "the line between a bid team's conduct...
and improper conduct is a very fine one. From which point on
lobbyism must be considered as improper conduct is, for example, not
"The perception for example, according to which a FIFA World Cup
vote must have been "bought" if the host selected is not the one
that has been generally considered a favorite (a position that is
quite common in the media), is mere speculation and far from
anything a judicial body like the FIFA Ethics Committee is allowed
to accept as proof.
"By contrast, the... Ethics Committee is under the obligation to
collect real facts, i.e. proof, which have then to be assessed by
both Chambers of the Committee. In this regard, it shall be pointed
out that such proof must be substantive, with (official) documents,
money and paper trails, e-mail and other correspondence and witness
statements still being the most sound kinds of proof."
The report added that "it must be made clear that (FIFA) President
(Sepp) Blatter did not violate the FCE (FIFA Code of Ethics). The
one concrete allegation against the President, concerning an account
purportedly held in his name at a U.S. bank, was demonstrably false.
"Mr Blatter has implemented a number of critical reforms, including
those that made this inquiry possible.
"The bidding process established by FIFA was for the most part fair
and thorough, although the Executive Committee's obligations in that
process -- including its members' obligations to abide the same
reporting requirements placed on the bid teams -- should have been
made more explicit."
(Editing by Mitch Phillips/John O'Brien)
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