FFA used ‘improper payments’ in World Cup bid

By Steve Larkin,

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    Australian soccer bosses say they won’t make the same mistakes again after a report detailed evidence of the nation making improper payments in its failed 2022 World Cup bid.

    A fortnight after Australia announced intent to bid for the women’s 2023 World Cup, the report found evidence suggested the nation made improper payments to influence the vote of a FIFA member.

    The report by FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia scrutinises, in part, Australia’s failed bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

    Australia’s $46 million bid got just one vote in support before the showpiece event was awarded to Qatar.

    Individuals involved in the Australian bid won’t face further fallout after Garcia probed Football Federation Australia (FFA) dealings with Jack Warner, Trinidad and Tobago’s FIFA executive member.

    Warner was also president of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

    The FFA paid Trinidad and Tobago’s team costs to play a friendly against an Australian under 20 team in Cyprus in 2009.

    FFA, a year later, paid Warner $500,000 – funds meant for a sporting centre of excellence he allegedly stole after they were deposited in his personal bank account.

    “Those points are strong evidence that FFA made improper payments intended to influence the vote of an executive committee member,” Garica’s report says.

    “The record provides significant evidence that the $500,000 was paid with the intention of influencing Mr Warner’s World Cup vote.

    “Australia’s bid team perceived the payment as a benefit for Mr Warner, as did Mr Warner himself.”

    The 430-page Garcia report on the awarding of the World Cup 2018 and 2022 hosting rights to Russia and Qatar, respectively, was published by FIFA on Wednesday.

    An abbreviated version was released in 2015.

    FFA said the full report “does not raise substantive new matters” about Australia’s failed bid.

    “FFA has said repeatedly that the bid process for 2018 and 2022 was deeply flawed and that mistakes were made by the Australian bid team,” FFA said in a statement on Wednesday.

    “However, FFA notes that FIFA continues to reform its governance, including relating to future tournament bids, and is confident mistakes of the past will not be repeated.”

    FFA said the bid’s finances were routinely reported to the federal government and reviewed by external auditors.

    “Its payment to CONCACAF was also investigated by the Australian Federal Police, which found that no Commonwealth offence was identified,” the statement said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • June 28th 2017 @ 4:45pm
      Swampy said | June 28th 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

      To be honest, even our efforts at bribing were poor. I fully support the idea of hosting a World Cup but we are light years behind others in swaying favour with bribes and under Sepp Blatter’s watch we just provided loose change to the FIFA delegates.

      There were rumours deals for Military equipment and Gas supply to a couple of countries from Qatar were for WC votes. We are talking billions in play. But these countries are not novices in the art of the deal and the extent of official involvement is unlikely to ever come to light.

      $47m would have bought about 2 million footballs for junior soccer. As we have about 100,000 teams in Australia that is 20 balls per team – or basically a lifetime supply.

    • June 28th 2017 @ 5:04pm
      Gavin R said | June 28th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

      Doesn’t surprise me. We all know how corrupt it is. If you’re not bribing, you’ve already lost. I really, really hope this all changes with everything thats been happening the last 12 months.

    • June 28th 2017 @ 5:12pm
      Realfootball said | June 28th 2017 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

      We haven’t heard the last of this. 40 million dollars of tax payer money was spent. The only saving grace is that Buckley and Lowy are no longer in their positions.

      • June 28th 2017 @ 5:50pm
        Jack Russell said | June 28th 2017 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

        Are they the ones held accountable for this? If not, who is?

        • June 28th 2017 @ 6:33pm
          jamesb said | June 28th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

          Well they are the one’s held accountable. Buckley was the CEO and Frank Lowy was the chairman. Both of them should be held most responsible.

        • June 29th 2017 @ 3:01pm
          valhalla said | June 29th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

          also wonder what role the doyen of sbs soccer played in all this …. lets not forget mr les murray has been mentioned

    • June 29th 2017 @ 12:02pm
      Chris said | June 29th 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

      So both England and Aus have been named as making “dodgy payments”.
      So what about the winning bids of Russia and Qatar?
      Was there any mention of them in this report?
      Because whatever England and Australia did wrongly you can bet your bottom dollar Russia and Qatar were infinitely worse.

    • June 29th 2017 @ 12:17pm
      Cool N Cold said | June 29th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

      After so many in FIFA sacked, the organization remains feudal. Still 24 Exco members to vote for the World Cup hosting nation, not like IOC’s modern democratic system of one-nation-one-vote.

      • July 1st 2017 @ 9:47am
        Pauly said | July 1st 2017 @ 9:47am | ! Report

        IMO it should be a secret ballot of preferential voting for all 209 member associations. Nobody knows who votes for whom and it’s a lot harder to bribe 209 people than 24. Let the Australian Electoral Commission run it.

    • June 29th 2017 @ 8:08pm
      Seven Words Sam said | June 29th 2017 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

      The Aussies are amateurs at international bribery.

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