#ASEDEYHOT – FRANCE OPEN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO AWARD OF 2018 AND 2022 WORLD CUPS
France has become the third country after the United States and Switzerland to investigate the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
France’s Parquet National Financier, which is responsible for law enforcement against serious financial crime, has reportedly questioned former FIFA president Sepp Blatter in connection with their probe that was started last year. The French newspaper Le Monde said Blatter was spoken to by investigators on April 20 “as a witness”.
The Associated Press quoted a PNF source as saying the investigation was opened “on grounds of private corruption, criminal association and benefiting from influence peddling relating to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.”
Quite why France has added its name to the investigation is unclear though it could be related to Michel Platini who openly said he voted for Qatar. The vote of the now-banned former UEFA president was crucial to the Gulf state winning the 2010 ballot. The PNF’s preliminary investigation is apparently due to alleged “trading of influence” in the voting process relating to France.
Platini has acknowledged he changed his vote for the 2022 World Cup host from the US to Qatar but says it was nothing to do alleged pressure from then French president Nicolas Sarkozy who was keen to secure trade deals with the Gulf state.