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Russia and Qatar World Cups 'helping to clean the game'

Fifa vice-president Victor Montagliani has suggested football might still be blighted by corruption if Russia and Qatar had not been chosen to host the next two World Cups.

Russia will host the next tournament in 2018 and Qatar the 2022 event, with both nations winning the right in a controversial vote almost six years ago.

Russia will host the 2018 World Cup. Credit: PA

Since the December 2010 awarding, corruption has been exposed in the global game, with then-Fifa president Sepp Blatter among those now banned.

Montagliani, speaking at the Leaders in Sport conference in London, said: "If Russia and Qatar wouldn't have got these World Cups, would we be in this situation now with an opportunity to clean the game?

"I think that was the starting point and the tipping point for certain things to happen.

"If England and the US had got the World Cup, maybe we would've had status quo.

"I'm just wondering if the authorities that have stepped up their involvement in the game would've done that if the choices had been a bit different.

"Maybe the best thing that happened in football was Russia and Qatar."


Former Fifa vice-president Webb handed lifetime ban

Jeffrey Webb has no future in football. Credit: PA

Former Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb has been banned from all football-related activities for life and fined £770,000.

The 51-year-old from the Cayman Islands was once considered a future leader of world football's governing body but that prospect ended when he was arrested in Switzerland last May by local police acting on behalf of the United States Department of Justice.

Webb, who ran the CONCACAF confederation which governs football in the Caribbean and North and Central America, pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering in November.

He has been provisionally suspended by Fifa since his arrest but the adjudicatory chamber of its ethics committee has now handed him its most serious sentence.

Fifa launch fresh investigation into Sepp Blatter

The investigation will look at possible bribery and corruption. Credit: Reuters

Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter is facing another corruption investigation after the ethics committee of world football's governing body announced it was opening proceedings against him and key lieutenants Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner.

The committee's investigatory chamber will investigate possible violations of Fifa's rulebook that relate to bribery, conflicts of interest and general conduct, while Kattner faces a further charge related to a breach of confidentiality.

The case is understood to be based on the huge salaries and bonuses the three men allegedly paid themselves at Fifa, and the alleged leaking of information about new Fifa president Gianni Infantino to the media.

A Fifa statement said:

The deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, Djimbaraye Bourngar, has opened formal proceedings against Joseph Blatter, former president of Fifa, Jerome Valcke, former secretary general of Fifa, and Markus Kattner, former acting secretary general and director of finance & corporate services.

The investigatory chamber will investigate possible violations of art. 13 (general rules of conduct), art. 15 (loyalty), art. 19 (conflicts of interest), art. 20 (offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) and art. 21 (bribery and corruption) of the Fifa code of ethics in the context of salaries and bonuses paid to Mr Blatter, Mr Valcke and Mr Kattner, as well as other provisions included in the contracts of these three individuals.

– Fifa statement
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