Global football governing body FIFA has announced that it has received the report investigating corruption claims in the World Cup bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments from lawyer Michael Garcia.
The report, which is not expected to be made public, has recommendations from Garcia about conducting future bids and any action that needs to be taken against specific individuals.
“The report sets forth detailed factual findings; reaches conclusions concerning further action with respect to certain individuals; identifies issues to be referred to other FIFA committees; and makes recommendations for future bidding processes,” said FIFA in a statement.
The report will now be examined by the German judge Hans Joachim Eckert, who can impose sanctions if Qatar and Russia are found to be guilty of wrongdoing.
No further details regarding the report were revealed.
Qatar has been facing corruption claims ever since it won the the 2022 World Cup bid in 2010, beating the US, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
According to a report in the UK’s Sunday Times, former Qatari soccer official Mohamed Bin Hammam allegedly paid $5 million to FIFA representatives in exchange for their support for Qatar’s bid.
The Gulf state has strongly refuted these claims.
In an interview in April with UK radio station talkSPORT, Hassan Al-Thawadi, the head of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee, said: “We did not buy the World Cup. It’s as simple as that.
“I go back to a lot of people that look at us and say it’s shocking that we won and I go back to the simple thing – why we won. It’s because we worked hard, harder than a lot of people.”
If the corruption allegations are found to be true and Qatar is stripped of the 2022 World Cup hosting rights, the Gulf state’s real GDP growth will slow down by at least 0.5 per cent annually, a report from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently found.
Direct World Cup spending by Qatar is estimated to be $16 billion, amounting to 7.5 per cent of its GDP, the report added.