Qatar has been cleared to host the 2022 World Cup. Despite finding evidence of “potentially problematic conduct” by some individuals, a FIFA report published on Thursday report said the bidding process for the tournament was not compromised. Russia, who won the right to host the 2018 World Cup, has also been cleared, although the report noted its bid team made “only a limited amount of documents available for review”. According to the report, the Russian team hired computers that were subsequently destroyed, denying the inquiry access to email accounts. However, England has been pilloried for its 2018 bid. They breached the rules in their attempts to woo disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, including securing a job in the UK for a family friend. The 42-page report has been compiled by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee, following a two-year inquiry by U.S. attorney Michael Garcia.
England’s response to Mr Warner’s - improper - demands … damaged the integrity of the ongoing bidding process. Yet, such damage was again of rather limited extent.
The report effectively confirms Qatar and Russia as 2022 and 2018 hosts respectively, stating any rule breaches by the bidding countries were “of very limited scope”. However, England 2018’s targeting of the block of FIFA executive votes controlled by Warner, did break the rules. The Trinidad official started “showering the bid team with inappropriate requests” and these were often accommodated, the report finds. As well as the request for a job, the report states England 2018 also picked up the bill for a $55,000 gala dinner for Caribbean officials, provided “substantial assistance” for a training camp for an U20 Trinidad & Tobago team in 2009, while Warner also asked for favours for his Trinidad football club “Joe Public FC”. The report also cleared Qatar of involvement in any payments by Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari former FIFA executive committee member who was banned for life by FIFA.