FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert released on Thursday the findings of an investigation into allegations of corruption surrounding the World Cup 2018 and 2022 bids, clearing Russia and Qatar of serious wrongdoing while heavily criticising the English FA. Eckert came down heavily on England’s bidding process while clarifying there will be no re-run of the bids for the 2018 and 2022 showpieces.
FIFA released an official statement, explaining its full investigation in detail. The English FA has since responded, per the governing body’s website:
We do not accept any criticism regarding the integrity of England’s bid or any of the individuals involved. We conducted a transparent bid and, as the report demonstrates with its reference to the England bid team’s ‘full and valuable cooperation’, willingly complied with the investigation. We maintain that transparency and cooperation around this entire process from all involved is crucial to its credibility.
Eckert’s report comes after “months of denial and attempts to prevent disclosure.”. Even so, officials in both Russia and Qatar can now rest easy that their tournaments will go ahead.