18 Nov 2014

Fifa targets ‘low-hanging fruit’ in World Cup bids row

Today’s events follow the somewhat farcical publication last week of the summary into a long-running investigation into how Qatar and Russia won the right to host the next two World Cups.

Fifa has now asked the Swiss government to bring criminal charges against a number of individuals. But put in simple terms, it won’t affect the big picture. Russia and Qatar will still be the hosts.

Indeed, some have questioned why Fifa is bothering to make complaints to the police about individuals when they themselves have said whatever it is they did, didn’t affect the outcome of the vote. One former Fifa insider told me they were “picking off the low-hanging fruit”.


So who is it that Fifa wants charged? I’ve spoken to most of the England bid team and they all say it’s not them. And the SFO say they have no information that suggests they would have any jurisdiction – which is legal speak for no Brits involved.

Much speculation stillĀ surrounds the Qatari Mohamed bin Hamman, and Jack Warner, both of whom have already been banned from football for life.

So what happens next? Well, although the Swiss government has the power to compel witnesses, unlike the initial Fifa investigation, some have questioned Switzerland‘s record on chasing down people accused of fraud.

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