Further allegations of corruption have been made against international soccer's governing body, FIFA, in connection to the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, which were awarded to Qatar and Russia respectively, according to reports.
Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, which has published a number of stories alleging that the bidding process for the two tournaments was corrupt, has turned over a cache of previously unpublished material to a committee of the U.K. parliament.
The material reportedly includes allegations of vote buying and vote trading between Russia and Qatar; that Russia gifted paintings from the archives of a museum to key voters and that former German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer's vote was allegedly offered for sale by associates in exchange for millions of dollars worth of consultancy fees, according to the paper.
The material was sourced by England's Football Association, which was responsible for running the country's unsuccessful bid for the 2018 World Cup. The organization collected a database of rumors and intelligence, gathered by private companies, British embassies around the world, and former agents of the U.K. intelligence agency MI6, who were hired to spy on rival bidders.
The paper describes the allegations contained in the dossier as “unproven,” while a report from the BBC said that there is not clear evidence to support the allegations.
The news comes just days after reports surfaced that senior FIFA members, including three of the organization's executive committee members, were under investigation as a result of corruption allegations, according to the Associated Press.
A recent report published by FIFA, which cleared the organization, as well as Russia and Qatar, of any impropriety in the bidding process for the tournaments, was highly critical of the English Football Association.
FIFA has come under intense pressure in the aftermath of the report's release. Major sponsors, including Coca-Cola and credit card company Visa have publicly criticized the manner in which the organization carried out the corruption investigations.
In addition “top tier” FIFA sponsors electronics manufacturer Sony and Emirates Airlines, declined to renew their sponsorship of the soccer tournament in the wake of the corruption allegations.
FIFA's report into the corruption allegations was disowned by the man who conducted the investigation, U.S. attorney Michael Garcia, who said that the summary of his report that was published by FIFA contains “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions.”
A recent New York Times editorial also accused FIFA of “farcically shady behavior.”