FIFA: Belgium May Seek Compensation In Failed World Cup Bid

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
fifa world cup
Journalists look at a light installation showing the official logotype of the 2018 FIFA World Cup during its unveiling ceremony at the Bolshoi Theater building in Moscow, October 28, 2014 Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Belgium may ask for a compensation for their failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup if proven that FIFA’s decision to award the bid to Russia is fraudulent.

"If fraud is proven, it is obvious to me that we will seek compensation," said Belgian Football Federation chairman Francois de Keersmaecker to Het Nieuwsblad reports.

Senior FIFA official Domenico Scala said that the decisions to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups could be overturned if evidences of bribery surface.

Russia and Qatar, who won the 2022 bid for FIFA, claimed they have not done any wrongdoings. Belgium, who had a joint bid with Netherlands for a combined total of £6.5 million, seeks to have a compensation of £3.2m.

FIFA and its executives committee awarded Russia, who got 13 votes, to be the host of 2018 World Cup ahead of the Portuguese-Spain joint bid with seven, and Belgian-Dutch bid with two. England also had two votes for their bid.

Meanwhile, as part of a Swiss criminal investigation in the World Cup bid, banks in Switzerland have reported 53 possible acts of money-laundering. Swiss Country Attorney-General Michael Lauber said that the suspicious bank relations were filed to comply with the country’s regulations against such criminal act reports said.

“I don’t mind if this has some collateral (damage) somewhere else,” the Swiss AG said, who addressed the media for the first time since the investigation started three weeks ago.

Lauber also added that he is not excluding FIFA President Sepp Blatter and secretary-general Jerome Valcke in his investigations, although according to him, they are not currently under suspicion.

The U.S. federal agencies, who are working with Swiss authorities, lead a separate investigation against Blatter, who, with other FIFA voters, had allegedly received a $10 million bribe to award South Africa the 2010 World Cup bid, while Vackle has been linked to transferring the money from a FIFA account on behalf of South African officials.