Any doubts over whether Qatar will be able to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be lifted later today when an investigation set-up to probe allegations of corruption will clear them of any major wrongdoing.
It has been widely alleged that Qatar spent $5 million (£3 million/€4 million) on gaining support from FIFA officials to win their bid ahead of Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
But FIFA’s independent ethics adjudicator Hans-Joachim Eckert will not recommend a re-vote when his report is published.
American lawyer Michael Garcia has been probing Qatar’s bid, along with those of rest of the the bidders for the 2022 and 2018 tournament, awarded to Russia.
His 430-page report was passed to Eckert in September and a 42-page summary is due to be published on FIFA’s website at 10:00 CET.
The conduct of Qatar, along with several other bidders, including Australia, England and Russia, is expected to be criticised but there is “no smoking gun”, according to one person who has seen the report and spoken to insidethegames.
There is expected to be criticism of Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, formerly a member of FIFA’s ruling Executive Committee, who is alleged to have distributed millions of pounds to football officials.
But Qatar 2022 have always denied he was working on their behalf.
Among criticisms of the other bids is expected to be England’s decision to spend $55,000 (£35,000/€44,000) on sponsoring a dinner in Trinidad linked to FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and distributing Mulberry handbags to the wives of the members of the Executive Committee.
Australia are set to be censured for offering development funds to countries with voting members, and Russia will be criticised for non-cooperation.
A number of other FIFA officials, besides Bin Hammam and Warner, neither of whom are involved in football any longer, are also expected to be criticised by Garcia.
But publication of their names is not expected at this stage.
This article first appeared in insidethegames.biz and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.