Australia Bribed FIFA to Win World Cup Hosting Rights, Whistleblower Claims
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | March 31, 2014 3:47 PM EST
Australia has been accused of bribing FIFA to win the bid to host the football World Cup in 2022.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses a news conference after a meeting of the FIFA executive committee in Zurich March 21, 2014.
The bid team from Australia allegedly offered A$500,000 to Jack Warner, former vice-president of FIFA, Mail Online reported. The team allegedly paid the amount to Mr Warner so that he would vote in favour of Australia. The allegation comes from a whistleblower who informed U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia about the conspiracy. Mr Garcia is leading the FIFA investigation of unmasking the truth behind the auctions for both the 2018 and the 2022 World Cups.
The whistleblower happened to be one of the members who had attended the meetings in which the Australian team had discussions on the transaction with Mr Warner. There were other transactions of "similar nature," the whistleblower claimed. It was claimed that the money was paid for the upgrade of the Marvin Lee Stadium in Trinidad. However, the amount was always meant for the disgraced FIFA official.
A A$462,200 cheque was allegedly deposited into a bank account which was controlled by Mr Warner. The incident took place in September 2010. On the other hand, there was an official report on the integrity of Caribbean football in 2013. The report stated that Mr Warner "misappropriated" such funds. Mr Warner was a prominent part of the 2018 and 2022 auctions. Australia's "donation" apparently went in vain as Russia was given the responsibility to host the World Cup in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.
Only recently, it has been allegedly that Mr Warner took a giant amount from Qatar to bestow them the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup. It was FBI that started an investigation against Mr Warner. Now that Australia too has been blamed for bribing a FIFA official, FIFA's credibility may have hit an all-time low. While FIFA has already initiated a probe into the bribing scams, one must wait and see how much it manages to restore its authenticity.
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