CANBERRA: Domestic political concern over the conduct of Australia’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup has been rekindled by the fuss over the past fortnight over the investigation run by FIFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The Football Federation of Australia spent around A$42m of public funds on the bid yet secured only one vote out of 22 when the world federation’s executive committee voted in December 2010. The finals were handed to Qatar.
Australia’s conduct was raised in the fall-out from an investigation led by American lawyer Michael Garcia [who has since resigned].
A summary of the investigation found “potentially problematic connections between financial and other support for ‘football development’ [in other countries] and the bidding process,” and that the bid team attempted to divert money set aside for development projects in Africa towards initiatives in countries with ties to FIFA exco members.
Now Greens senator Richard di Natale has tabled the motion for a full Senate inquiry.
He said: “There’s been a deafening silence in response to the FIFA investigation and there are some very serious questions that the Australian community deserve to have answered.”
The summary of FIFA’s investigation also found there was “a prima facie case that two [unnamed] consultants violated the bidding and ethics rules”. The FFA employed three international consultants to advise on the bid: Peter Hargitay, Andreas Abold and Fedor Radmann.
Abold’s company was hired to produce the bid book and subcontracted Radmann as a lobbyist. Radmann received A$3.6 million in fees.
Last month The Sunday Times in London used the artifice of parliamentary privilege to make various allegations about the conduct of Abold and Radmann.