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FIFA files criminal complaint regarding 2018, 2022 World Cup hosting rights

November 18, 2014, 19:17 UTC+3 GENEVA
The criminal complaint has been lodged with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland in Berne
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©  EPA/Leonardo Muñoz

GENEVA, November 18. /TASS/. The International Federation of Football Associations has lodged a complaint in connection with the awarding of the hosting rights of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the FIFA press service said on Tuesday.

"The subject of the criminal complaint is the possible misconduct of individual persons in connection with the awarding of the hosting rights of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups investigated by Michael Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee," FIFA said.

"In particular there seem to be grounds for suspicion that, in isolated cases, international transfers of assets with connections to Switzerland took place, which merit examination by the criminal prosecution authorities," FIFA said.

The criminal complaint has been lodged with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland in Berne, which, unlike FIFA's bodies can conduct investigations under application of criminal procedural coercive measures.

Russia and Qatar won the bids to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments in 2010. FIFA’s investigation was launched following British media allegations that former FIFA vice president Jack Warner was paid almost $2 million from a Qatari firm shortly after the world's richest country per capita won the 2022 World Cup bid.

During the year-long investigation, FIFA officials interviewed "more than 75 witnesses and compiled a record that, in addition to audio recordings from interviews, includes more than 200,000 pages of relevant material," according to FIFA.

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