MPs demand investigation of World Cup 'corruption'

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The Independent Online

The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in its report into the 2018 World Cup bid released this morning, has castigated Fifa, criticised the FA and rebuked the Labour Government.

The parliamentary committee urged Fifa to "commission a full, urgent and independent investigation" into allegations of corruption made against members of the Fifa Executive Committee, and make the outcome public. It recommended the FA "conduct a review of the 2018 bid" and "review its longer-term strategy for engaging with Fifa and other international football authorities". It also suggested the Government should properly evaluate bids for major international events before announcing them.

None of this is surprising, nor, in reality, is it meaningful. Fifa is unlikely to take any notice of the report. The FA has many more pressing matters to spend time and money on than another review into the obvious, given that it will not be bidding for a World Cup for at least a decade, and then not until the bidding process is overhauled and made transparent.

Key members are well aware of the need to improve their external relations. As for Government, the short-term "feel-good" gains to be made from such announcements usually override consideration of the bigger picture.

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