FFA cleared over World Cup 2022 bid allegations

July 5, 2010

The Australian Government has cleared Football Federation Australia (FFA) of providing misleading information over how public money was being spent on the bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

A number of claims were made about bonuses to consultants, gifts of pearl necklaces and cufflinks to to FIFA executive committee members, and paying the costs of a Trinidad and Tobago youth team to fly to a tournament.

FIFA is still investigating the allegations, but FFA officials have indicated the document was an “informal planning document”, and government officials have examined accounts, clearing them of any attempt to mislead them.

A letter to the FFA from the Australian Government’s World Cup bid taskforce said: “We note that the contents of this planning document align with the reports provided by the FFA to the taskforce, and we accept your explanation that the existence of the planning document does not mean that the FFA maintains ‘dual’ financial reporting and records.”

FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said of the matter: “We are involved in an extremely sophisticated and competitive process where we are trying to bring the biggest sporting event in the world to Australia but we have always said that we would play by the rules.

“All of our operations are in line with FIFA guidelines and our financial reporting meets our obligations under the funding agreement with the government and any suggestion otherwise is completely wrong and the government has accepted that.”