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Australia defends World Cup bid from FIFA report

Football Federation Australia said Friday it was seeking further information from FIFA`s ethics committee over claims Australia used taxpayer money to buy votes for its 2022 World Cup bid.

Australia defends World Cup bid from FIFA report

Sydney: Football Federation Australia said Friday it was seeking further information from FIFA`s ethics committee over claims Australia used taxpayer money to buy votes for its 2022 World Cup bid.

A FIFA investigation into Qatar`s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup cleared the host of any wrongdoing, but accused Australia of breaking ethics rules, trying to buy votes and then attempting a cover-up.

Australia spent almost Aus$46 million ($40 million) on its rival bid to host the event but received just one vote.

"FFA says it will seek advice from the FIFA Ethics Committee on the next steps in the process," Australia`s top football body said in a statement.

"The Australian Bid team cooperated fully with the inquiry and provided transparency on the conduct of the (World Cup) bid."

The report by FIFA`s Ethics Committee found Australia`s team had tried to divert government funds intended for development projects in Africa "towards initiatives in countries with ties to FIFA executive committee members with the intention to advance its bid".

FFA was also accused of making "certain payments" to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

"The Australia 2022 bid team appears to have reached the conclusion to provide financial support under the title `(football) development projects` preferably in some areas home to FIFA executive committee members," a summary of the report said.

"The FFA was well aware of the ramifications such a pattern of conduct might imply."

The long-awaited report into the race for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was thrown into turmoil on Thursday when its own investigator complained that a summary misrepresented his conclusions.

Football`s world governing body had earlier cleared Qatar and Russia of corruption and ruled out a re-vote for the tournaments despite widespread allegations of wrongdoing.

From Zee News

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