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Coe: Bid teams are right to do their research on opponents

Lord Coe has told ITV that the England 2018 World Cup bidding team were right to look into opposing bids.

Having lost out to Russia for the tournament in 2018, the bid team will reportedly be questioned for creating a dossier on opponents.

The former athlete said the London 2012 bid, which he led, was successful thanks to the level of research they did, stating that they won the Olympics as the team 'knew what the landscape looked like'.

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SFO mulling UK criminal probe into Fifa corruption claims

The Serious Fraud Office has reportedly confirmed it is actively seeking evidence related to Fifa's World Cup corruption probe and is inviting whistleblowers to come forward.

According to letters seen by The Daily Telegraph, the SFO said it was pursuing "every reasonable line of inquiry" to decide whether it can open an investigation into the allegations of unlawful conduct during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has rejected FA chairman Greg Dyke's call to publish the Garcia report into allegations of corruption in World Cup bidding, claiming it would break Fifa rules and Swiss law. Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Fifa, which faced worldwide criticism for its handling of an inquiry into the bids, last week announced it has lodged a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general regarding "possible misconduct of individual persons" in connection with the bids.

Regarding the potential for a Serious Fraud Office inquiry, a spokesperson confirmed to ITV News:

There is no information which has so far been brought to the SFO’s attention that shows that the UK criminal courts would accept jurisdiction. We continue to monitor the situation and to keep the jurisdictional position under review.

– Serious Fraud Office spokesperson

FIFA refuse to reveal individuals being investigated

The identities of the individuals who have been reported to the attorney general by FIFA have not been disclosed.

Eckert's findings released last week did name two people, both former FIFA ethics committee members, as having contravened rules: Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago, who resigned in disgrace in 2011, and Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former Asian confederation president from Qatar who was banned for life by FIFA.

FIFA said it could not disclose whether Warner and Bin Hammam were those who had been reported to the attorney general.

Eckert's findings had criticised the England 2018 bid for pandering to Warner's wishes but there is no suggestion the England bid has been reported to the Swiss prosecutors.

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Fifa unveil 2018 World Cup logo in space

Fifa unveiled the logo of the 2018 World Cup in Russia using three astronauts in space.

The Russian space station revealed the new emblem from their capsule as Fifa kicked off their campaign for the tournament.

Three astronauts unveiled the new logo in space. Credit: Twitter @FIFA

FIFA president Sepp Blatter confirmed that Russia and Ukraine will be kept apart in the 2018 World Cup group stages should the Ukrainians qualify for the tournament.

Political tension between the neighbouring states continues to be high with Kiev accusing Moscow of backing Russian separatists in the east of Ukraine.

Blatter replied "you can be sure about this" when asked whether hosts Russia would be kept apart from Ukraine following a politically driven outbreak of violence during a recent match between Serbia and Albania.

FIFA's official 2018 World Cup logo. Credit: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup
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