LONDON: The Football Association has rejected “criticism regarding the integrity” of England’s 2018 World Cup bid, as indicated in the interim report of FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert. An FA spokesman said:
We note the FIFA Ethics Committee has today published a 42-page report in relation to the bidding processes for the FIFA World Cups in 2018 and 2022.
We were not given any prior notice of the report before publication. We do not accept any criticism regarding the integrity of England’s bid or any of the individuals involved.
We conducted a transparent bid and, as the report demonstrates with its reference to the England bid team’s ‘full and valuable cooperation’, willingly complied with the investigation. We maintain that transparency and cooperation around this entire process from all involved is crucial to its credibility.
We also note that after a lengthy investigatory process and assessment, the report has concluded that the ‘potentially problematic facts and circumstances identified by the report regarding the England 2018 bid were, all in all, not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/22 bidding process as a whole’.