The Duke of Cambridge and former UK PM David Cameron were implicated in FIFA corruption scandal following the leak of some 430 pages of former FIFA’s chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia 2014 report.
According to Garcia’s findings published on Tuesday (the 27th of June) night the lengths to which English football officials were willing to go to secure their country as the host of 2018 World Cup surpass any wild speculations. And to think their extensive efforts were fruitless: England failed to score any of the two World Cups it was bidding for.
The report puts both Prince William and David Cameron at a meeting where swapping votes between England and South Korea was discussed.
Many FIFA representatives, now discredited, found themselves surrounded by English Football Association bosses willing to court them and grant any request, however inappropriate or bizarre it may be. Anything to secure the votes on the upcoming election of the World Cups 2018 and 2022 hosts.
They even discussed arranging an audience for one FIFA South American representative with the Queen. All because his vote could have been helpful for England.
The UK former PM David Cameron met with the South Korean delegation, report says. During this meeting Cameron directly asked them to support England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup. Delegates agreed given that the England would secure their bid for the 2022 World Cup in return. These kind of dealings are in direct “violation of the anti-collusion rules”, Garcia wrote.
Some documents among those leaked by the German paper Bild not only shed light upon the corrupt members of the English FA, but also reveal the ever increasing demands from FIFA officials.
For instance, the aforementioned South American representative would not stop at asking for a private audience with the Queen, he also wanted the honorary knighthood to be bestowed upon him.
The English FA officials secured two jobs for the “adopted son” of Trinidad and Tobago FIFA vice-president Jack Warner: in Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur football clubs. They also considered Warner’s request to pair his hometown with a proper “English village” and offered Burton upon Trent, the Staffordshire home of its national football centre, as a potential twin town.
The published findings contains minutes from a meeting between Cameron and FIFA vice-president Mong-Joon Chung of South Korea in Prince William’s suite at the Baur au lac Hotel in Zurich on the eve of the vote in December 2010.
Back then South Korea was counting on hosting World Cup 2022. The vote on both World Cups happened on the same day.
“The Prime Minister asked Mr Chung to vote for England’s bid, and Mr Chung responded that he would if Mr [Geoff] Thompson [Geoff Thompson – chairman of England’s bid] voted for Korea,” states the report based on evidence provided by the English delegation.
The British monarch found herself implicated as well when it was uncovered that during the meeting between the English FA and FIFA representatives in 2009 one of the latter articulated his will to meet the Queen.
Nicolas Leoz the president of CONMEBOL, the South American football Confederation asked to be knighted. During his meeting with Lord Triesman the then head of English FA Leoz said “that he believed that a knighthood from the United Kingdom would be appropriate”.
Andy Anson the chief executive of England 2018, the company standing behind England’s bid, told the investigators he recalls FA officials “said to me that it would be nice if at some point Dr Leoz would get to meet the Queen.”
England 2018 employees realised the full seriousness of such request and instead suggested “creating a FA Disability Cup” that “could be named after him [Leoz]”. FA officials replied by questioning the seriousness of that offer: would naming a trophy in his honour be “big enough” to secure Leoz’s vote.
Garcia wrote extensively on FA’s attempts to satisfy the bizarre requests of one Jack Warner, the FIFA vice-president and the president of North American, Central American and Caribbean football Confederation (CONCACAF): “England 2018’s response shows an unfortunate willingness, time and again, to meet that expectation [of Mr Warner]”.
The aforementioned Warner’s “adopted son” Richard Sebro who was actually the son of Warner’s banker miraculously landed two jobs in prestigious English football clubs in 2009.
The same year FA paid all expenses covering a stay in Sheffield of the Trinidad & Tobago Under 20 team. In 2010 Warner asked that his hometown Longdenville in Trinidad be twinned with an English village. Be his request granted the funding and publicity would shortly follow. The aforementioned offer of Burton-upon-Trent to become Longdenville’s twin town came from an email sent to Warner on 29th of June 2009.
FA went as far as to play an international friendly with Thailand, whose team is ranked 120th in the world. The proceeds from selling viewing rights to the game would go to Thailand, except in the UK. The former FA head Geoff Thompson told Garcia in an interview that he “didn’t think it was appropriate” for England to play the Thailand friendly “because I think it’s a form of bribery”.
When the England lost World Cup 2018 hosting rights to Russia in December 2010, the aforementioned international friendly game was cancelled, even though it was only arranged in November. “The game’s cancellation only underscores the improper relationship”, Garcia commented.
No matter how hard FA officials tried to sweeten the deal England lost the vote in the first round with only two votes being cast for its bid. Russia became the hostess of World Cup 2018 and Qatar scored the hosting rights to World Cup 2022. Both decisions were made on the 2nd of December 2010.
England 2018 company“provided full and valuable co-operation in establishing the facts and circumstances of this case”, Garcia wrote. He was able to interview witnesses and received documents upon request. However, Garcia found that the “conduct by England 2018 that may not have met the standards set out in the FCE (FIFA code of ethics) or the bid rules”.
“While the bidding process itself, and the attitude of entitlement and expectation demonstrated by certain Executive Committee members in the exchanges discussed in detail above, place the bid team in a difficult position that fact does not excuse all of the conduct”, the report concluded.
Source: The Telegraph.