December 10, 2023

Australia wanted the World Cup so bad it did a horrible thing

1GhbEf1By Jenni Ryall From Mashable

It is official, we are terrible humans that put football above humanity. Australians are obsessed with sport, but this has taken it to a new, depressing low.

Australia attempted to use African aid money to support projects in the countries of FIFA members, in a push for Australia to win the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to FIFA. In equally distressing news, despite this Australia only got one vote towards its very unsuccessful, and possibly dodgy, bid.

On Thursday afternoon FIFA’s Ethics Committee released its exhaustive report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were won by Russia and Qatar respectively in 2010, and the results don’t look good for Australia.

“There are indications that the Australian 2022 bid team attempted to direct funds the Australian government had set aside for existing development projects in Africa towards initiatives in countries with ties to FIFA executive committee members with the intention to advance its bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” the report said.

“Nevertheless, further according to the Report, the Australia 2022 bid team appears to have reached the conclusion to provide financial support under the title “(football) development projects) preferably in areas home to FIFA executive committee members,” it continued.

Luckily for us, the FIFA ethics committee decided our indiscretions didn’t affect the FIFA bidding process as a whole.

“The FIFA Ethics Committee reaches the conclusion that the potentially problematic facts and circumstances identified by the report regarding the Australia 2022 bid were, all in all, not suited to compromise the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process,” the report said.

The report also made mention that corruption is hard to prove as promoting football projects remain in “a certain grey area” and that is it often difficult to differentiate from lobbying and corruption, due to the nature of the country’s interest and support in a bid.

The 42-page summary of the 430-page report compiled by FIFA’s head judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert, is off the back of controversy surrounding Qatar’s bid and allegations of corruption. Although most teams faced some form of criticism, Russia and Qatar will keep the World Cup, after the report proved there was no conclusive evidence that corruption occurred.

“In particular, the effects of these occurrences on the bidding process as a whole were far from reaching any threshold that would require returning to the bidding process, let alone reopening it,” the report said. “The assessment of the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups bidding process is therefore closed for the FIFA ethics committee.”

And just as it sounded like the turbulent times were over, suddenly the man behind the report, laywer Michael Garcia, slammed the released summary. In a statement to the BBC, just four hours after the summary was released to the public by FIFA, he said it “contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations.” Cue the calls for Garcia’s report to be published in full. The saga continues.

If that was all a little hard to handle, the video on the website link below might cheer you up. For one minute you can remember how proud you were to be Australian when the last World Cup rolled around. Tim Cahill’s goal against the Netherlands in this year’s World Cup has been nominated for FIFA goal of the year. Savour that moment. It is legitimate.

For more on this story and video go to:


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