Fifa facing Serious Fraud Office probe over World Cup bidding

Frank Dalleres
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THE SERIOUS Fraud Office has stepped up efforts to open an investigation into football’s world governing body Fifa amid allegations of corruption surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

It came as Sajid Javid, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, joined calls for Fifa to publish in full a controversial inquiry into the bids carried out by its chief ethics investigator.

The SFO, responding to a letter from anti-Fifa Conservative MP Damian Collins, said: “You can be assured that every reasonable line of inquiry, including working closely with appropriate overseas authorities, is being pursued to ascertain whether the director has grounds to open an investigation.

Javid said Fifa’s decision to publish only a summary of the report’s findings, which have been disputed by its own investigator, risked damage to its credibility and “to football as a whole”.

He added: “Fifa has a public duty to operate with the highest ethical standards, and with the levels of transparency and good governance expected from an international body representing 209 nations, hundreds of millions of players and billions of supporters.”

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