FIFA Unlikely To Strip Russia Of 2018 World Cup
Though thorough investigations are on regarding the awarding of the World Cup to Russia and Qatar, U.S. and Swiss investigators are unlikely to strip off the officially announced hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2018, according to U.S. and European reports.
Prosecutors from New York and Zurich are delving into possible irregularities – and if there are, to what extent – in terms of bestowing the rights of 2018 to Russia and 2022 rights to Qatar.
The investigations so far
The examination of the bidding process is a key to probe into the FIFA scandal that unearthed and rocked the world in May. Nine officials were arrested from Zurich headquarters. They are charged with various corruption offenses including money-laundering and fraud.
But no such evidences have surfaced that could potentially cast doubts over Russia hosting the 2018 edition.
Investigations were hampered by the destruction of the computers used by the Russian bidding committee. Loads of relevant information remained in darkness due to it.
The media office of the Russia 2018 local organizing committee said that the computers and other equipment had been leased, and once the process was completed they were returned to their owners, as per a statement in response to questions of Reuters. “The computers became obsolete and were discarded by their owner,” it said.
The committee also hailed their “excellence of the concept and presentation of the bid” as the reason to earn the award to host the event. It also clarified the bid was presented in “full compliance with the spirit and letter of FIFA’s code of conduct” ethics.
“Even if there were any irregularities in the voting, and none have ever been proved or are likely to be, the only body that can take the World Cup away from Russia is FIFA’s Executive Committee,” a senior FIFA insider told Reuters earlier.
“I think we can finally put that idea to bed.”
The Russian and FIFA officials maintained the stance that the charges were a result of sour graping of the failed bidders. England also bid aggressively for the 2018 edition of the event but couldn’t achieve it.