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FIFA to investigate World Cup bids

FIFA ethics investigator Michael J Garcia has confirmed he is going to examine claims of wrongdoing in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals.

There has been a cloud of suspicion hanging over the way Russia and Qatar came out on top, with accusations of voting pacts among the reports likely to be looked into.

Former England 2018 bid leader Lord Triesman was at the forefront of the claims and British newspapers also highlighted possible improprieties. Qatar has always denied any wrongdoing.

Garcia said in a statement: "As has been publicly announced, certain allegations regarding events surrounding the bidding for the World Cup 2018 and 2022 were referred to the ethics committee by FIFA following media reports.

"We intend to conduct a thorough review of those allegations, including the evidentiary basis for and credibility of any allegations of individual misconduct.''

The ethics committee will also report in March on its investigation into the payment of kickbacks to FIFA members by now-defunct marketing partner ISL. A new whistleblower hotline is expected to become operational next month.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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