Russia and Qatar may well be in the clear as far as Sepp Blatter's organisation is concerned, but they didn't spare Australian football's powers-that-be
Football Federation Australia's conduct during its failed attempt to host the 2022 World Cup has been criticised by a FIFA-sanctioned investigation into the controversial bidding process.
The findings of the investigation - led by former New York district attorney Michael Garcia - have not been released in full, a decision met with derision by the world's media.
A summary of the report has been made available, with FFA's attempt to win the rights to host the 2022 tournament criticised for alleged attempts to curry favour with a FIFA executive committee member.
"Certain devices employed by the bid team and its consultants were seemingly aimed at hiding ties with individuals close to the executive committee member concerned while taking advantage of their influence over the member to further the bid strategy," the report summary reads in regards to Australia's bid.
The report summary also calls into question the motives behind FFA's allocation of funds intended to aid the growth of football infrastructure in less developed countries.
"According to the report, there have been several different occurrences involving the Australia 2022 bid that displayed potentially problematic connections between financial and other support for 'football development' and the bidding process."
FFA responded to the findings by announcing it would seek further dialogue with the world governing body over the outcome of the report.
"Football Federation Australia has noted the statement released in Zurich tonight by the Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee on the Report on the Inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup TM Bidding Process prepared by the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee," FFA said in a statement.
"FFA notes that the Australian Bid team co-operated fully with the inquiry and provided transparency on the conduct of the Bid.
"FFA will now fully review the statement and its findings before making any further comment."
While several other bid teams' conduct was called into question, FIFA's report summary cleared the 2018 and 2022 hosts, Russia and Qatar respectively, of any wrong-doing, with Garcia himself criticising the representation of his findings.
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