Independent FIFA probe to conclude Qatar investigation next week

FIFA president Sepp Blatter's organization is under investigation. (Getty Images)

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The independent attorney tasked with probing FIFA’s bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will conclude his investigation by early next week, U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia told the governing organization.

Garcia said that his investigation will be complete by June 9, despite allegations that surfaced this week alleging that a former Qatari football official bribed other FIFA executives to support Qatar’s bid with up to $5 million. A report will be submitted in mid-July revealing Garcia’s findings.

The Sunday Times reported that Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former Qatari and FIFA executive, allegedly paid numerous officials, including those from African countries, in order to secure Qatar’s successful 2022 bid to host the World Cup. The Times obtained access to “millions” of e-mails and documents detailing the alleged payments.

Garcia reportedly didn't need time to vet the latest details as he’d had access to the documents long before they were made public this weekend. 

“After months of interviewing witnesses and gathering materials, we intend to complete that phase of our investigation by June 9, 2014 and to submit a report to the adjudicatory chamber approximately six weeks thereafter. The report will consider all evidence potentially related to the bidding process, including evidence collected from prior investigations,” he said in a statement.

Garcia’s research also includes an examination of the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russia. It’s unclear whether Garcia’s findings would be enough to wrest the World Cup from either Russia or Qatar, but the mounting corruption allegations have reached a fever pitch less than two weeks before the 2014 World Cup begins.  


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