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FIFA’s ethics group will consider recommendations for action against officials and changes to the bidding process for future soccer World Cups after an investigation into the controversial awarding of tournaments to Russia and Qatar.
A group led by former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia today submitted a 350-page report on the bidding race for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber. Garcia’s group heard from more than 75 witnesses and gathered 200,000 pages of relevant material, according to a FIFA statement sent on behalf of his committee.
“The report sets forth detailed factual findings; reaches conclusions concerning further action with respect to certain individuals; identifies issues to be referred to other FIFA committees; and makes recommendations for future bidding processes,” FIFA said in the e-mailed statement.
The race to host the $5 billion World Cup was a contentious one, with two voters suspended before the poll after telling undercover reporters from the Times of London that their votes could be bought. Several other officials were caught up in the newspaper’s allegations.
Qatar, a desert state smaller than Connecticut, beat bids from the U.S., Australia, Japan and Korea. Russia triumphed ahead of England and joint bids from Spain and Portugal and from the Netherlands and Belgium.
Since the selections, FIFA has changed the way hosts are selected by inviting its entire 209-nation membership to participate in a final vote instead of a smaller panel.
FIFA didn’t provide a date for the final decision on the investigation. Russia and Qatar have started work on infrastructure projects to prepare for soccer’s 32-nation showpiece.
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