Qatar cleared and England criticised in World Cup bid report

A report into the bidding process for the right to host the World Cup has cleared Qatar of wrongdoing in winning the 2022 tournament and criticised the England bid for 2018, the Guardian has reported.

Hans-Joachim Eckert, a German judge and chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee, has produced a 42-page report based on an investigation conducted by Michael Garcia, an American attorney. Any chance of Russia being stripped of the 2018 tournament or Qatar losing the 2022 competition ends with the report, it’s believed.

Russia were awarded the 2018 tournament ahead of England and joint bids from Holland and Belgium and Portugal and Spain, while Qatar were favoured over the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

The report confirms there were questions to be answered from a number of bids but nothing discovered triggered the need for the bid process to be re-run. “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,” Eckert’s report states.

England have been criticised for their links to discredited former FIFA official Jack Warner, while Australia are criticised for something similar. Russia, meanwhile, are condemned for failing to provide copies of all communication after the computer system used was destroyed.

Allegations of corruption against Qatar were dismissed. The 2022 bid was found to have little or no connection to payments made by Mohammed Bin Hammam, who has previously been banned for life by FIFA. The Bin Hammam payments were said to be related to his own challenge for the FIFA presidency.

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