More Than 100 Reports of “Suspicious Financial Activity” Now Received as Part of 2018 and 2022 World Cup Bid Process Probe

 

Swiss authorities have now uncovered more than 100 reports of suspicious financial activity relating to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

The Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) have been investigating alleged corruption in the bidding processes for both tournaments and has confirmed the number of suspicious incidents it has uncovered has now reached three figures.

“I can confirm that the OAG received so far 103 suspicious financial activity reports regarding the allocation of the Football World Cups in 2018 and 2022,” said a spokesperson to Reuters.

Last month, the number of incidents was revealed as 81 and the amount has now risen.

Organisers for both Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 have repeatedly denied any allegations of corruption.

Meanwhile, the man appointed as the chairman of FIFA’s new reform committee has claimed that outgoing President Sepp Blatter has been “unfairly treated”.

In an interview with Swiss newspaper La Matin Dimanche, Francois Carrard said: “There is something unfair in the way he is treated.

“I say that with complete independence.

“We are in the process of pillorying him.

“Unfortunately, it’s always like that when somebody stays too long, the negative side gets noticed.

“This man has been unfairly treated.

“And if we talk about corruption, I have the whole U.S proceedings on my table. In the indictment, there is not one word against him.

“Nothing.”

Carrard added that FIFA’s Confederations were a ‘fundamental problem’ in the scandal hit organisation.

He said: “A fundamental element of FIFA’s problems is the Confederations’ anachronistic position.

“They are not members of FIFA but are decisions-makers within the organisation without responsibility.

“This is a fundamental cultural and structural problem.”

Carrard, a Swiss lawyer and former director general of the International Olympic Committee, claimed he was unhappy to be presented with a committee made up of nominees from FIFA’s six Confederations after agreeing to head up the Reform Committee.

“When I was offered the position, the members had been appointed,” he said.

“I did not have a say.

“So I asked to nominate a fully independent advisory board of my own of five members, no more, because we have to work fast.

“I will choose them, they will be personalities of experience, wisdom, international stature, who have had to cope with crises but who do not necessarily come from the sport.”

The FIFA Committee is due to meet next week in Bern with Carrard’s own group meeting in October.

According to Carrard, FIFA’s former Independent Governance Committee run by Mark Pieth failed because it “lacked internal relevance”.

“His proposals were very good and we could take some of them forward,” he said.

“But the process lacked internal relevance. When you are sitting on a cloud, you can propose whatever you like but there is no guarantee it will be accepted.

“You need to understand the realpolitik.”

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games.

 

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