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Prince William and former Prime Minister David Cameron have been implicated in a World Cup bidding scandal by a FIFA ethics report.
The report, published on Tuesday, examined the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Duke of Cambridge and Cameron both supported England’s bid to host the 2018 tournament.
The FIFA report alleged they were present at a meeting where a vote-swapping deal was discussed between England and South Korea.
Cameron had met with former FIFA vice president Mong-Joon Chung ahead of the December 2010 World Cup vote and “asked Chung to vote for England’s bid” to host the 2018 tournament, FIFA’s ethics committee said. In return, Chung wanted England to back South Korea’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Vote-swapping is a “violation of the anti-collusion rules” and a clear breach of FIFA ethics.
A spokeswoman for Prince William declined to comment.
The vote-swap was apparently discussed at the Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. “The Prime Minister asked Mr Chung to vote for England’s bid, and Mr Chung responded that he would if Mr. Thompson voted for Korea,” the report states.
It adds that Chung acknowledged meeting Cameron in Seoul in November 2010, but denied the vote-swapping allegation.
The Queen also featured in the FIFA report, as former president of the South American football confederation, Nicolas Leoz is said to have requested an honorary knighthood, apparently in exchange for a vote.
Leoz was never knighted but was, instead, offered a trophy to be named after him. “An FA Disability Cup” created to enhance the “development of disability football” was put forward but this was not deemed to be a “big enough” gesture to entice Leoz.
“England 2018 officials perceived that Mr Leoz would have viewed them more favourably if they helped him obtain a knighthood,” the FIFA report said. “His desire for personal accolades could influence his World Cup vote.”
Former England footballer and BBC presenter Gary Lineker, who helped support the 2018 bid, said the accusations should be addressed. He added that the FIFA bidding process “created a murky world where favours/bribes were just thrown around.”
Tackling was never my strong point, but if England's bid was corrupt in any way it should be addressed. https://t.co/Kz2vtHwPDg
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 27, 2017