Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host … – Daily Mail

Australia’s bid for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup’s shrouded in controversyNew report by FIFA claims there’s ‘strong evidence’ Australia tried to buy votes Football Federation Australia pulled out of 2018 and got just one vote for 2022Former FFA CEO Ben Buckley and billionaire Frank Lowy both been slammed Russia was awarded the 2018 event and Qatar won the 2022 World Cup bid By

Josh Hanrahan For Daily Mail Australia

Published:
20:47 EDT, 27 June 2017

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Updated:
00:50 EDT, 28 June 2017

Australia’s failed bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been yet again been shrouded in controversy, with claims the nation’s top soccer body made ‘improper payments’ in an effort to influence the result.A new report released on Wednesday by FIFA’s ethics committee has cast doubt over claims by Australia’s soccer officials that the failed bid was completely by the book.Football Federation Australia spent upwards of $45 million on bids for both the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup, but was forced to pull out of the 2018 ballot and received just one vote for the 2022.And now the release of the report by chief investigator Michael Garcia questions the assurances made by FFA’s billionaire businessman boss Frank Lowy and former CEO Ben Buckley that Australia’s bid was not at all corrupt.

Australia’s failed bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been yet again been shrouded in controversy, with claims the nation’s top soccer body made ‘improper payments’ in an effort to influence the result
Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Football Federation Australia spent upwards of $45 million on bids for FIFA World Cup, but was forced to pull out of the 2018 ballot and received just one vote for the 2022 (Former PM Julia Gillard is pictured in an ad for the World Cup bid)The report questions the work of Mr Buckley – who is now the chairman of AFL club North Melbourne – and to a lesser extent Mr Lowy, in the lead up to the vote.About Australia’s bid, the report reads: ‘(There is) strong evidence that FFA made improper payments intended to influence the vote.’The 2018 event was awarded to Russia, while Qatar will controversially hold the 2022 spectacle.Neither Mr Buckley or Mr Lowy are believed to be directly involved in corruption, and Daily Mail Australia has sought comment from FFA.In the wake of Qatar’s successful bid claims of widespread bribery were levelled, but investigations by the FFA and federal government found Australia’s bid was clean.

But the Garcia report also reveals claims Australia attempted to specifically influence the bid of disgraced CONCACAF President Jack Warner.FFA contributed $500,000 towards a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Warner’s homeland of Trinidad and Tobago, but it’s believed the funds were stolen by the corrupt official.’The record provides significant evidence that the AU$500,000 was paid with the intention of influencing Mr. Warner’s World Cup vote,’ the report reads. ‘Australia’s bid team perceived the payment as a benefit for Mr. Warner, as did Mr. Warner himself.’ The report is also critical of two highly paid consultants employed by the FFA to help in Australia’s bid – Fedor Radmann and Peter Hargitary. 
Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

The 2018 event was awarded to Russia, while Qatar (pictured) will controversially hold the 2022 spectacle
Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

About Australia’s bid, the report reads: ‘(There is) strong evidence that FFA made improper payments intended to influence the vote’Mr Radmann, a German businessman, had close ties to Franz Beckenbauer the head of Germany’s successful 2006 FIFA World Cup bid and a key vote Australia sought.’In structuring its contract with Mr. Radmann, Australia 2022 sought to create an appearance of distance between the bid team and Mr. Beckenbauer’s close associate,’ the report read.’Subsequent devices employed by the bid team and its consultants were seemingly aimed at hiding ties with Mr. Radmann while taking advantage of his influence over Mr. Beckenbauer to further the bid strategy.’ Mr Hargitary also held close ties with high-ranking FIFA bosses, including disgraced former chief Sepp Blatter.Despite it being a contravention of FIFA’s rules, the report reveals Mr Hargitary sent Mr Blatter a derogatory email in 2009 about the bid of eventual winner Qatar.While a consultant, he and Jack Warner also encouraged the FFA to pay the travel of Trinidad and Tobago’s under-20s team to Cyprus for a match against Australia.In total, the FFA paid close to AUD$120,000 for the Trinidad and Tobago team to fly to Cyprus and spend a total of nine nights in accommodation there.An email from Mr Hargitary to Mr Buckley encouraging him to approve the costs Mr Warner asked for read: ‘Those few Pounds won’t hurt but WILL make a difference!’
Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

FFA contributed $500,000 towards a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in the homeland of disgraced ex-president of CONCACAF Jack Warner (left, with David Beckham)
Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the FFA confirmed they provided ‘full and valuable co-operation’ to the inquiryIn a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the FFA confirmed they provided ‘full and valuable co-operation’ to the inquiry.’The report does not raise substantive new matters that have not already been the subject of other inquiries and/or media coverage since 2009/2010,’ it read. ‘It does, however, contain further detail such as email correspondence provided to the inquiry by FFA. ‘The report also states that “the Investigatory Chamber does not intend to pursue formal investigatory proceedings against any individual bid team member”.’FFA has said repeatedly that the bid process for 2018 and 2022 was deeply flawed and that mistakes were made by the Australian bid team.’
Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Prince William, left, and David Cameron, centre, pictured with David Beckham in 2010 during England’s 2018 World Cup bid, have been named in a Fifa ethics report alleging they were present at a meeting to discuss vote trading with a South Korean officialAround the world, the report also dragged Prince William and ex-British PM David Cameron into the murky saga of World Cup vote trading.The report claimed the prince and Mr Cameron were at secret hotel negotiations during England’s failed bid in 2010.FIFA’s explosive report into the 2018 and 2022 bidding process was kept secret until it was finally published yesterday – three years after it was written.Released in full after German newspaper Bild began leaking extracts, it looks at the background to the December 2010 vote.   
Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Corruption bombshell: 'Strong evidence Australia made improper payments' to 'bribe' FIFA officials in effort to host ... - Daily Mail

Prince William, pictured with then Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke in 2010, has declined to comment on the allegations through Kensington Palace. England’s bid only received two votes and Russia won

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