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    No Evidence Russia Made Attempts to Influence Pick of 2018 World Cup Host - FIFA

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    Russian officials did not attempt to influence the choice of the 2018 World Cup host country in their favor by offering gifts to members of the FIFA Executive Committee (FIFA ExCo), FIFA's report on the inquiry into the 2018 FIFA World Cup bidding process said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, FIFA published a full report about the investigation into the organization's decisions to award the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 to Russia and to Qatar, respectively.

    "The gifts offered by the Russia Bid Committee to FIFA ExCo Members were, as far as evidenced in the documents provided and testimonies given, of a symbolic and incidental value. Even though the travel and accommodation costs for FIFA ExCo Members (partly accompanied by their families) were fully assumed by the Russia Bid Committee, such cost coverage was acceptable under the FIFA Rules of Conduct in force at the relevant time," the report said.

    The report added that there was no evidence reasonably indicating that either the Russia Bid Committee or Russian government attempted to unduly influence the bidding process through members of the FIFA Executive Committee, football development projects, or friendly matches.

    Within the framework of the investigation, which went on for about a year, FIFA had questioned more than 75 witnesses and collected some 200,000 pages of materials. However, the full version of the report has never been published before, something which has been criticized by many officials. One such official includes Michael Garcia, the chairman of the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, who resigned in 2014, soon after the partial release of the report.

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    2018 FIFA World Cup, FIFA, Russia
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