English FA reject FIFA’s criticism of 2018 World Cup bid

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Following FIFA’s report into alleged corruption during the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process which was won by Russia and Qatar respectively, two separate nations have been criticized by world soccer’s governing body.

[ RELATED: Garcia: report “erroneous” ]

Qatar and Russia have both been cleared to host their tournaments but England and Australia were scolded as FIFA questioned the English FA in particular for its close ties with former vice-president Jack Warner who stepped down from his role in 2011 due to allegations of bribery.

Hans-Joachim Eckert, FIFA’s independent ethics adjudicator, said that England’s bid “showed a willingness, time and again” to work with Warner and that they damaged “the image of Fifa and the bidding process.”

The English FA reportedly tried to help find a close associate of Warner a part-time job in the UK, they let the Trinidad and Tobago U-20 squad take part in a training camp in England in 2009 and are alleged to have sponsored a gala event for Caribbean Football Union, at a cost of $55,000.

In a statement, this is what the FA have to say about the allegations in Eckert’s report.

“We do not accept any criticism regarding the integrity of England’s bid or any of the individuals involved,” the English FA said. “We conducted a transparent bid and, as the report demonstrates with its reference to the England bid team’s `full and valuable cooperation,’ willingly complied with the investigation.

“We maintain that transparency and cooperation around this entire process from all involved is crucial to its credibility.”

Eckert’s 42-page report was released on Thursday after a two-year long investigation by American lawyer Michael Garcia. However Garcia has already claimed the report was “erroneous” and that it “contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions” regarding the information he gathered.

Other leading politicians and members of the English FA’s bid, which included Prince William, David Beckham and British Prime Minister David Cameron who arrived in Zurich for the hearing in 2010, have since slammed FIFA’s report.

As for Australia, they were also criticized for their close relationship with Warner and Oceania chief Reynald Temarii and are alleged to have provided cash for development projects.