In a report released today the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee says it was "appalled" by allegations – made in evidence to the committee – about the conduct of members of the FIFA Executive Committee during the 2018 World Cup Bid process. The Committee says the allegations merit a full, urgent and independent investigation.
The committee also urges FIFA to conduct a thorough review of the governance of its bid processes, modelled on the steps the International Olympic Committee took after allegations of bribery and corruption in Salt Lake City's bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
The committee recommends that the FA conduct a review of its 2018 bid, saying England's bid team appears to have lacked a number of the components of a successful bid. The FA should review its longer term strategy for engaging with FIFA and other international football authorities in order to increase its influence, including with regard to governance reform.
The committee also urges the Government to review its advice and its own actions on bidding for international sporting events. The Government should consider, in particular, its early announcement of the bid and whether sufficient attention was given to evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the England bid.
John Whittingdale MP, Chair of the Committee said:
"The committee's decision to hold a special hearing on FIFA and England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup has been amply justified by the revelations that followed from it. These have shown beyond doubt that FIFA's Governance and its process for awarding competitions is in need of fundamental reform. Yet the re-election of Sepp Blatter and the decision to drop the FIFA Ethics Committee investigation following Jack Warner's resignation suggest nothing has changed.
The credibility of FIFA has been hugely damaged and it is now up to Mr Blatter to deliver on his promises made at the time of his re-election and to show that allegations of misconduct and corruption will no longer be swept under the carpet. We urge the FA to continue to press for real change in FIFA and to work with other national associations to ensure that it happens. We also call on FIFA to prove its commitment to increased openness and transparency by publishing its Ethics Committee report."