Six senior Fifa officials have been arrested in Switzerland on US charges of corruption and fraud. Is the organisation finally going to be reformed?
What's going on?
There are also claims that they didn't pay any taxes. A bilateral treaty between the two countries means that they are likely to be extradited from Switzerland to face trial in America. At the same time, Swiss prosecutors have also started a separate investigation into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively in 2010. However, it is not yet known if the arrests and new investigation are formally related.
Hasn't there already been an investigation?
However, this part of the report has not been released. Instead, a summary by Fifa official Hans-Joachim Eckert claims that it largely exonerated officials from both countries. Indeed, Eckert even claimed that the rival British and Australian bidding teams broke rules themselves. For his part, Garcia claims that Eckert's summary was extremely misleading.
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Could Russia and Qatar lose their hosting rights?
Qatar is especially controversial, because its scorching temperatures mean that it will have to be played during the winter, causing a huge amount of disruption to club football around the globe. It has also been criticised for the high death toll in building the stadiums where the matches are due to take place.
Other issues include generally dire labour conditions, confiscation of workers' passports and the use of forced workers (including those from North Korea).
What about Sepp Blatter?
For his part, al-Hussein has claimed that he was himself approached by a fixer, offering to deliver up to 48 votes in favour of the Jordanian royal. The prince's team say that itdeclined the alleged offer and they informed the police (though not Fifa) about it.
Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.
He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.
Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.
As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri
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