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FIFA completes probe into bidding process

FIFA ethics committee
BERNE: FIFA ethics committee investigator Michael Garcia has completed his investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively, and submitted a 350-page report, the game’s governing body said on Friday.

FIFA said that during the course of the year-long investigation, Garcia and his deputy Cornel Borbely interviewed “more than 75 witnesses and compiled a record that, in addition to audio recordings from interviews, includes more than 200,000 pages of relevant material”.

The report, which has not been made public, will be submitted by the ethic committee’s adjudicatory chamber, headed by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, which will decide on whether any wrongdoing was committed.

FIFA said they could not comment on when Eckert might reach his decision.

“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,” said FIFA in a statement.

The hosting rights for the two tournaments were awarded simultaneously by FIFA’s executive committee in Zurich in 2010.

Spain/Portugal, Belgium/Netherlands and England had also been bidding for 2018 while US, Australia, South Korea and Japan had bid for 2022.

FIFA said that all bidding nations were interviewed during the investigation. Borbely took responsibility obtaining information from the US and Russia as Garcia is a national of the former and was barred from visiting the latter.

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