FIFA slams England's 2018 bid

2014-11-13 12:03
Roy Hodgson (AFP)

London - England was slammed by a FIFA ethics report on Thursday for over-indulging former powerbroker Jack Warner in its attempt to win the right to host the 2018 World Cup.

England's bid team helped an acquaintance of Warner find part-time employment in the United Kingdom and spent $55,000 to sponsor a gala event in his native Trinidad and Tobago in its attempts to win Warner's favour, the report said.

Warner was president of the CONCACAF federation at the time and also sat on the FIFA executive committee which awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 tournament to Qatar in a controversial vote in December 2010.

He withdrew from football in 2011 after he was suspended by FIFA following allegations in a cash-for-votes scandal in the run-up to that year's presidential election.

The report, which followed a year-long investigation into the bidding process for the tournaments, said that Warner made "inappropriate requests" and described the English bid team's willingness to accommodate as "an apparent violation of bidding rules and the FIFA Code of Ethics.

"The England 2018 bid team placed particular emphasis on winning former FIFA executive committee member (in the position of a FIFA Vice President) and then CONCACAF President Jack Warner," said the report.

"Mr. Warner sought to exploit the perception of his power to control "blocks of votes" within the FIFA Executive Committee, showering the England 2018 bid team with inappropriate requests," said the report.

"According to the findings of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, the bid team often accommodated Mr. Warner's wishes, in apparent violation of bidding rules and the FIFA Code of Ethics."

The report said that Warner pressed England's bid team to help "a person of interest to him" find a part-time job in Britain.

"England 2018's top officials in response not only provided the individual concerned with employment opportunities, but also kept Mr. Warner apprised of their efforts as they solicited his support for the bid," said the report.

"By providing the individual concerned employment, England 2018 gave the appearance that it sought to confer a personal benefit on Mr. Warner in order to influence his vote."

"Mr. Warner's conduct demonstrated an expectation that bidding teams would react favourably and seek to curry favour with a voting member of the FIFA executive committee," added the report.

"England 2018's response showed a willingness, time and again, to meet such expectation, thereby damaging the image of FIFA and the bidding process."

Read more on:    england  |  fifa world cup 2018  |  soccer

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