FIFA probe FFA over bribery allegations

Australian soccer bosses are facing a FIFA probe over claims they handed out jewellery and paid travel costs for a Trinidad team in order to win votes.
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Australian soccer bosses are facing a FIFA probe over claims they handed out jewellery and paid travel costs for a Trinidad team in order to win votes.

Allegations in the Sydney Morning Telegraph quote documents from Football Federation Australia that also detail payments of up to £6.4million to consultants if the bid for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup is successful.

A statement said: "FIFA can confirm that it is looking into this matter. For the time being, FIFA cannot disclose any other details or make any further comment."

The most damaging allegations concern gifts of pearl necklaces for the wives of FIFA executive committee members, and that they funded the travel costs of Trinidad and Tobago's under-20 team to fly to Cyprus.

One of FIFA's most powerful figures, Jack Warner, is from the Caribbean country.

Football Federation Australia say the necklaces and cufflinks were given at a dinner before formal bidding had started.

Aussie chairman Ben Buckley said: "It is a widely accepted common practice among governments, and many business and sporting organisations to provide symbolic gifts to visiting international delegations."

FIFA's bidding rules allow gifts of "symbolic or incidental value" but last year the England 2018 bid had to backtrack on giving out designer handbags.

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