FIFA to announce World Cup bid probe outcome

Zurich : FIFA is due to announce on Thursday the outcome of its probe into corruption and collusion allegations that have marred bidding for football`s 2018 and 2022 World
Cups just two weeks before the hosts are chosen.

The ethics committee of world football`s governing body has been meeting since Monday in an attempt to complete its investigation after two of the 24 members of FIFA`s executive committee were provisionally suspended last month.

Four other football officials and ex-FIFA decision makers were also sidelined following the claims of possible vote buying raised in a controversial sting by undercover reporters
for a British newspaper.

FIFA has also scheduled a meeting of its decision-making executive committee tomorrow, a spokesperson told to reporters, but no further details were given.

England, Russia and joint bids by Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium are in the running to host the 2018 World Cup while Australia, the United States, Japan, Qatar and South Korea are bidding for 2022.

FIFA`s decision to choose the organisers of two World Cups at the same time has been criticised by Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Bin Hammam, a member of FIFA`s executive committee, said that voting for one tournament at a time will reduce the possibility of corruption allegations that have plunged the process into crisis.

"I hope it`s the last time," Bin Hammam told the Aspire4Sport conference in Doha Wednesday.

"From the beginning the Asian members, including me, were not convinced that deciding two World Cups at the same time was a good idea.

"I raised my voice and said the decision for 2022 should perhaps have been in 2016, or maybe 2014, and that it was not appropriate for people sitting in the FIFA executive committee on Thursday to make that decision.

"We raised so many objections but the vote was taken and we were outvoted. I hope people have realised that it was wrong."

Bureau Report