(WFI) French financial prosecutors have reportedly been investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups since last year.
The investigation by France’s financial prosecutor services (PNF) is centered on corruption and influence peddling surrounding FIFA’s vote for the 2018 and 2022 hosts, according to an Associated Press report on Thursday.
The AP also reported that disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was questioned by the PNF as part of its investigation.
The 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively, by FIFA’s executive committee in December 2010. The decision to give Qatar the 2022 tournament has always been seen as a controversial one.
France now joins the United States and Switzerland in launching investigations into FIFA.
In March, FIFA turned over to Swiss authorities 1,300 pages of reports from its own 22-month investigation into a corruption and bribery scandal that threatened to bring down world football’s governing body.
FIFA’s investigation began shortly after the high-profile arrests of FIFA officials on the eve of the FIFA Congress in May 2015 as part of a wide-ranging investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into corruption related to broadcast contracts and sponsorships involving North, South and Central American football.
Swiss authorities later launched their own investigation into FIFA’s activities and these and other inquiries have claimed a number of the biggest names in football, including former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his right-hand man Jerome Valcke, the ex-FIFA general secretary.
Other high-profile football officials brought down by various scandals are former UEFA boss Michel Platini and ex-CONCACAF bosses Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb.
Homepage photo: Getty Images
By INSIDER Gerard Farek
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