The former British prime minister David Cameron and Prince William have been implicated in a FIFA corruption scandal, according to an investigation.
The newly published and full version of a report on the FIFA 2018/2022 bidding process alleges that Cameron tried to persuade South Korea to trade votes in a clear violation of FIFA ethics rules.
Cameron reportedly asked South Korean delegate Chung Mong-Joon to support England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup. In exchange, England was asked to vote for a 2022 Korean bid.
The Queen is also mentioned in the report after it emerged a FIFA executive member had sought an audience with the British monarch during the bidding process and was seeking a knighthood in exchange for helping England’s bid.
The publication comes after the report was leaked to German media “for the sake of transparency.”
The investigation into corruption allegations and other wrongdoings by bidders to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was carried out in 2014 by the former chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee Investigatory Chamber, US prosecutor Michael Garcia.
Until now only a brief summary of an over 400-page document was available to the public. However, after its contents were allegedly leaked to German tabloid Bild, football’s governing body officially released the document in its entirety late Tuesday, “for the sake of transparency.”
The report alleges that the fate of England’s 2018 FIFA bid was decided at the highest level of the British government, with former Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William being personally implicated in breaching FIFA ethics code by colluding with officials from South Korea, which sought to host the tournament in 2022.
Cameron reportedly met with then-FIFA vice president Mong-Joon Chung not long before the December 2010 vote and “asked Mr. Chung to vote for England’s bid.” Chung allegedly promised to cast a vote for England on condition the English delegation returned the favor and backed South Korea as 2022 World Cup host.
The clandestine conversation is said to have taken place in Prince William’s room at a posh Swiss hotel, with the Duke of Cambridge himself reportedly having been present at the meeting.
Prince William is not the only British royal to be featured in the report. According to one of the most eyebrow-raising allegations cited there, the former president of the South American Football Confederation, Nicolas Leoz asked the English delegation if it was possible to be bestowed with an honorary knighthood.
Witnesses to discussions between the English delegation and Leoz’s representatives claim that at one of the meetings the latter hinted that “it would be nice if at some point Dr Leoz would get to meet the Queen.”
The report, however, notes that the chief executive of England’s bid, Andy Anson, “was never a party to any conversation where Dr Leoz personally asked anyone connected with England 2018 for a knighthood, or indeed for any award or honor.”
A separate section of the report exposes a series of outlandish demands presumably made to the UK delegation by now disgraced FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who was banned from football for life by FIFA for “various acts of misconduct” during his time as its official in 2015.
For instance, Warner, a Trinidad and Tobago native, is alleged to have pressed the English bid officials into providing the man who Warner called his “adopted son,” with a part-time job at England’s top football clubs.
Warner also reportedly asked England bid team “for favors and benefits related to a Trinidad & Tobago football team he owned.”
One of the most bizarre requests concerns his home village of Longdenville, which he wanted to be “twinned” with an English village to boost its international prestige.
Garcia came to the conclusion that “in many cases England 2018 accommodated or at least attempted to satisfy, the improper requests” made by senior FIFA members mentioned in the report.
Meanwhile, the report appears to clear Russia of the allegations that it had won the right to host the 2018 World Cup by bribing officials for votes.
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