Hans-Joachim Echert, adjudicatory chamber chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee, said in a statement that no proof was found of corruption or bribery after a review of the investigative work of Michael Garcia, an attorney and cititzen of the US, reports Xinhua.
“As regards the procedural framework for conducting bidding procedures related to awarding the hosts of the final competitions of FIFA World Cups, the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee did not find any violations or breaches of the relevant rules and regulations,” said the German chairman.
Qatar beat the US 14-8 in the fourth and final round of a five-nation contest for the 2022 World Cup, while Russia received an absolute majority of votes for the 2018 edition after two rounds of voting.
“The various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole,” said the 42-page report.
As a response to the ethics judge’s report, “FIFA looks forward to continuing the preparations for Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, which are already well underway.”
The corruption case, however, is still open for past and current members of FIFA’s ruling board, as the report threw its most severe criticism for ethical violations on England’s losing bid for the 2018 World Cup and that of Australia’s 2022 bid.