PARIS - Football's world governing body FIFA has cleared Qatar and Russia of corruption and ruled out a re-vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments despite widespread allegations of wrongdoing.
An exhaustive report by the FIFA ethics committee admitted that even though there had been a series of worrying episodes in the bidding for the 2022 tournament, as well as the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there was not enough evidence to justify reopening the process.
"The report identified certain occurrences that were suited to impair the integrity of the 2018/2022 World Cups bidding process," said the 42-page report released by Hans Joachim Eckert, the chairman of the committee's adjudicatory chamber.
".. the occurrences at issue were, in the chairman's assessment, only of very limited scope.
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"In particular, the effects of these occurrences on the bidding process as a whole were far from reaching any threshold that would require returning to the bidding process, let alone reopening it.
"The assessment of the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups bidding process is therefore closed for the FIFA ethics committee."
Qatar welcomed the decision saying they had been "confident" they won the bid with a "clean" record ahead of rivals Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
The report also said that in Australia's bid for 2022 "there are certain indications of potentially problematic conduct of specific individuals in the light of relevant FIFA Ethics rules."Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the Qatar 2022 organising committee, told AFP: "We were confident that any impartial investigation was to show that our record was clean and contains no irregularities."
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