Australia 2022 World Cup bid comes under scrutiny

June 30, 2010

Australia’s bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup has come under scrutiny after a series of newspaper reports questioning the Australian Football Federation’s (FFA) spending.

A report in Fairfax newspapers claimed that the FFA had agreed to multi-million dollar fees for lobbyists and consultants that would equate to more than a quarter of the total cost of the bid.

Other allegations suggested that pearl necklaces had been given to the wives of the FIFA executive committee, while another committee member received pearl cufflinks and a trip to Australia.

FFA CEO, Ben Brdaley, has denied the allegations, saying that the bid accounts are transparent and spending is within all necessary legal and public requirements.

Sports Minister Kate Ellis has promised to investigate the allegations, saying: “Obviously when the FFA spends government money, it is subject to the usual reporting and scrutiny requirements. Any evidence to the contrary will be thoroughly investigated by the government, as would any alleged breach of the funding agreement.”

Australia’s ambitions to host the 2018 World Cup were ended earlier this month when they withdrew their bid after it became clear that FIFA wanted to hold the tournament in Europe.