News 23rd December 2015

Dutch FA orders audit into 2018 World Cup bid

The Dutch football association (KNVB) will appoint an external auditor to examine its joint bid with Belgium to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, due to allegations that the campaign broke bidding rules by paying €10,000 to Amadou Diallo, who in 2011 was accused of arranging bribes in exchange for World Cup votes. It has also informed the FIFA Ethics Committee, which ‘did not identify any issues with regard to the Belgium/Holland 2018 bid’ following Michael Garcia’s investigation allegations of corruption regarding the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

‘Among the allegations is the order of a €10,000 payment to a third party, which would be contrary to the applicable FIFA regulations, according to the newspaper’, read a KNVB statement. ‘All the available documents have been brought into the open and studied by lawyers and KVNB officers. ‘Based on this reconstruction, it appears that no violation has occurred. To get the complete picture, the KNVB is awaiting information from the Belgian FA. Because of its wish for completeness and accuracy, the KNVB has taken steps to appoint an external audit firm. It is expected that this process will be completed during the first quarter of 2016. When independent investigation is completed, the KNVB will report.’

On 12 December, De Volksrant alleged that the bid committee agreed to make a payment of €180,000 to former footballer Christian Karemaeu, who acted as an official counsellor for the bid. It also alleged that the bid had paid €49,000 to Marc Schasny, a management consultant who worked as project manager for the bid; as well as €10,000 to Diallo.

The Dutch newspaper claims that irrespective of the corruption allegations against him, the payment to Diallo violates FIFA’s World Cup bidding rules, as Diallo worked for Mohamed bin Hammam, then a FIFA Executive Committee member with voting rights. FIFA banned bin Hammam for life in July 2011 for breaches of its Code of Ethics.

‘The Member Association and the Bid Committee shall refrain from attempting to influence members of the FIFA Executive Committee or any other FIFA officials, in particular by offering benefits for specific behaviour’, reads Chapter 11 of the Rules of Conduct on Bid Registration regarding the submission of bids for the right to host and stage the 2018 FIFA World Cup or the 2022 FIFA World Cup. ‘The Member Association and the Bid Committee shall refrain, and shall ensure that each entity or individual associated or affiliated with it shall refrain, from providing to FIFA or to any representative of FIFA, to any member of the FIFA Executive Committee, the FIFA Inspection Group, FIFA consultants, or any of their respective relatives, companions, guests or nominees (i) any monetary gifts’.

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