World Cup - MPs blast England 2018 bid

Tue, 05 Jul 00:20:00 2011

A parliamentary report has blasted England's bid for the 2018 World Cup and lashed out at FIFA over the corruption allegations that have engulfed it for months.

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The report, produced by a cross-party group of MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport committee, accused the FA of failing to have learnt anything from previous failed bids as England lost out on the right to host the tournament.

The bid, spearheaded by Prince William, David Cameron and David Beckham, ended in humiliating fashion as England secured only two votes at the first stage, including one from itself.

"England's bid team appears to have lacked a number of the components of a successful bid," the report said.

"Lessons did not appear to have been learned from previous studies with regard to the composition and unity of the bid team, and the messages it needed to project.

"More fundamentally, it appears that the groundwork for a successful bid had not been laid effectively with football's international bodies."

The committee was also "appalled" by allegations about the conduct of members of the FIFA executive committee during the 2018 World Cup bid process, and scathing of the failure to address the issues immediately.

"Instead, FIFA has given every impression of wishing to sweep all allegations of misconduct under the carpet and of dismissing anyone bringing allegations to them with an approach bordering on contempt," the report said before hitting out at the "extraordinary" decision not to pursue Jack Warner over corruption allegations following his resignation from the FIFA executive committee.

The committee added that the allegations merited a "full, urgent and independent investigation", and urged FIFA to conduct a thorough review of the governance of its bid processes, modelled on the steps the International Olympic Committee took after allegations of bribery and corruption in Salt Lake City's bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

John Whittingdale MP, chair of the committee said: "The committee's decision to hold a special hearing on FIFA and England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup has been amply justified by the revelations that followed from it.

"These have shown beyond doubt that FIFA's governance and its process for awarding competitions is in need of fundamental reform. Yet the re-election of Sepp Blatter and the decision to drop the FIFA ethics committee investigation following Jack Warner's resignation suggest nothing has changed.

"The credibility of FIFA has been hugely damaged and it is now up to Mr Blatter to deliver on his promises made at the time of his re-election and to show that allegations of misconduct and corruption will no longer be swept under the carpet."

He added: "We urge the FA to continue to press for real change in FIFA and to work with other national associations to ensure that it happens.

"We also call on FIFA to prove its commitment to increased openness and transparency by publishing its ethics committee report."


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