Corruption over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups

The investigation into allegations of corruption over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups came within hours of being sabotaged from within Fifa, it has emerged.

In the week The Telegraph revealed the first concrete evidence of payments made between two of the governing body’s vice-presidents following the 2010 vote, a number of senior power-brokers openly discussed overthrowing its chief investigator and scrapping its independent ethics committee.

The plot was foiled last week before it could be debated by Fifa’s executive committee, some members of which would have considered resigning had the investigation, led by New York lawyer Michael Garcia, been stopped in its tracks.

Those reform-minded members confirmed they had been approached in the corridors between sessions of a two-day meeting in Zurich on Thursday and Friday.
That meeting coincided with a visit by Garcia, the head of the investigatory chamber of Fifa’s ethics committee, to interview all 13 surviving members of the executive committee from December 2010 about the vote and also allegations of corruption during Fifa’s 2011 presidential elections.