That England and South Korea agreed to swap votes the day before the ballot is just one of the claims included in a dossier of files that was handed to a UK government body this weekend. The collection of documents also includes allegations against Russia and Qatar, and prompted UK MP John Whittingdale to conclude that the whole body of evidence against the World Cup was highly damning.
“When it’s taken together with all the other evidence that has already been accumulated, it does paint a picture of a deeply corrupt organisation and that the whole of the bidding process was completely flawed,” said John Whittingdale, chair of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
The dossier was compiled by a team that included a former MI6 operative and several other investigators. The dossier was provided to the UK parliamentary body by the Sunday Times, who published some of the allegations Sunday.
Besides England and South Korea, Russia and Qatar also colluded to swap votes ahead of the ballot. Motives included financial and material incentives, according to the documents.
“I think what is alleged England to have been doing is mild compared to the allegations made against other nations,” said Whittingdale. “But nevertheless it’s obviously serious and it is a breach of the rules and therefore we will want to know whether it’s true and how the FA justify it.”
However, Whittingdale commented on the unproven nature of the documents.
“A lot of it is reports and hearsay. It isn’t necessarily hard evidence. It isn’t proven,” said Whittingdale.
This collection of damning information comes shortly after another report by US lawyer Michael Garcia, the summary of which cleared Russia and Qatar of foul play. However, Garcia commented on the summary of his report saying that it had been written by a senior FIFA ethics committee official and was factually wrong.
In response to the new dossier, Russia’s 2018 bid team issued a statement. “These allegations are not new, but the evidence has only ever indicated that Russia 2018 behaved professionally and fairly throughout the bidding process,” read the Russian teams statement, which “categorically rejected” all of the “entirely unfounded” claims published in the Sunday Times.
By Daniel Jackson