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Fifa investigates 'gifts' given by Australian bid team

FFA chairman Ben Buckley
FFA chairman Ben Buckley is confident his association has done nothing wrong

Fifa are to investigate claims that Australia's team bidding to host the 2022 World Cup gave gifts to try and influence votes.

It is alleged that the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) gave jewellery to the wives of Fifa executive committee members.

Further claims allege that Australia paid for the Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 team to fly to Cyprus.

"Fifa can confirm that it is looking into this matter," a statement said.

"For the time being, Fifa cannot disclose any other details or make any further comment," the statement concluded.

Trinidad and Tobago is the home association of influential Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.

As head of Concacaf, the North American and Caribbean football association, he controls three of the 24 votes which decide who hosts a World Cup.

It is claimed the FFA gave pearl necklaces to the wives of Fifa executive committee members. The executive committee is the body which votes on which country should host a World Cup.

Associations hoping to host major tournaments are forbidden from giving valuable gifts to people who are connected with the voting process to ensure impartiality.

They are, however, allowed to give gifts which have "symbolic or incidental value."

It is a widely accepted, common practice, among governments, many business and sporting organisations to provide symbolic gifts, to visiting international delegations

FFA chairman Ben Buckley

But the FFA claims that the gifts were given at a dinner before the formal bidding process had begun.

"It is a widely accepted, common practice, among governments, many business and sporting organisations to provide symbolic gifts, to visiting international delegations," said FFA chairman Ben Buckley.

Earlier this month the FFA announced they would only bid to stage the 2022 World Cup as they felt a European nation would get the 2018 tournament.

England, Russia, the United States and joint-bids from Belgium and the Netherlands, and Portugal and Spain are vying for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Japan, Qatar and South Korea are the other countries bidding solely for the 2022 tournament.



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see also
Australia drops out of 2018 race
10 Jun 10 |  Football
Warner encourages England on 2018
10 Jun 10 |  Football
Triesman quits FA & 2018 Cup jobs
16 May 10 |  Football
Japan abandons 2018 World Cup bid
04 May 10 |  Football


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Canberra Times World Cup push nets aid cash - 1 hr ago
New York Post Australia's World Cup bid officials bought pearl necklaces for FIFA wives -- Report - 13 hrs ago
Daily News South AfricaWorld Cup bid faces corruption allegation - 15 hrs ago
The Australian Nothing to hide on Cup bid: FFA - 17 hrs ago
Daily Maverick Radmann and Hargitay, the men behind Australia's dirty World Cup 2022 bid - 18 hrs ago
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