In a completely unexpected turn of events, FIFA cleared itself of wrongdoing in awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, instead chastising England for its failed bid. Several excerpts of the ethics report were leaked to the media, which I have reproduced below.
Qatar’s Point Tabulation
We see no instances of irregularities in our review of Qatar’s bid. In fact, Qatar’s overt bribes to the Selection Committee were well below the maximum allowance of $18 million per country, and Qatar should be commended for its frugality. Additionally, Qatar’s clandestine bribes were well-structured to avoid scrutiny, involving hundreds of random bank transfers to anonymous bank accounts based in island nations frequented by many FIFA officials. We can find no error in the final point tabulation:
$40 billion for construction + magical(!!!!) outdoor air conditioning ^ 2 + 40% kickbacks on all alcohol sold during WC (at 50x retail price) = 1 trillion points
When compared to the United States’ tabulation, no critique of the selection process can honestly be maintained:
$300 million for upkeep of existing facilities + 100% availability of alcohol outside of FIFA purview + no diplomatic immunity for FIFA officials + Second Amendment = – 3 points
Recommended Sanction of The Football Association
England’s outrageous violation of standard FIFA Bribery Protocol cannot be tolerated. The FA was found have to feted a Caribbean delegation with an extravagant dinner at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay before taking in a showing of Sister Act from the side balcony. As the Protocol clearly dictates, officials are only to be taken to first-run shows featuring the original cast and must be seated in the fourth or fifth row, center orchestra. Additionally, further investigation uncovered that the delegation received copies of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen television programme on DVD, and not on Blu-Ray or pre-loaded on custom-inscribed gold iPads as required by Section 188.8.131.52 of the Protocol. We would recommend that England be banned from further bidding in UEFA-eligible years, but the substantive content of England’s past three bids has been so poor that we believe no further punishment is necessary.