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No evidence Russia tried to influence 2018 World Cup bid: FIFA

IANS logoIANS 28-06-2017

FIFA published a full report on Tuesday about the investigation into the organisation's decisions to award the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 to Russia and to Qatar, respectively, reports Sputnik news agency.

"The gifts offered by the Russia Bid Committee to FIFA ExCo Members were, as far as evidenced in the documents provided and testimonies given, of a symbolic and incidental value. Even though the travel and accommodation costs for FIFA ExCo Members (partly accompanied by their families) were fully assumed by the Russia Bid Committee, such cost coverage was acceptable under the FIFA Rules of Conduct in force at the relevant time," the report said.

The report added that there was no evidence reasonably indicating that either the Russian bid committee or Russian government attempted to unduly influence the bidding process through members of the FIFA executive committee, football development projects, or friendly matches.

Within the framework of the investigation, which went on for about a year, FIFA had questioned more than 75 witnesses and collected some 200,000 pages of material. However, the full version of the report has never been published before, something which has been criticised by many officials.

One such official includes Michael Garcia, the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee, who resigned in 2014, soon after the partial release of the report.

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