01:16 GMT21 September 2020
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    US and Swiss-led criminal investigations looking into possible FIFA corruption are unlikely to pose any threat to Russia’s hosting rights for the 2018 football World Cup due to no evidence of wrongdoing, insiders have said.

    New York and Zurich-based prosecutors are looking into whether there was anything illegal or untoward in the awarding of hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively, amid allegations of widespread corruption in the voting process. 

    The review into the tournaments' hosting rights is part of a wider investigation into FIFA itself, with many critics claiming the organization had an inherently corrupt culture, which culminated in the arrest of a number of current and former FIFA officials for corruption-related offences in May. 

    However it's understood that the ongoing probes will not pose any threat to Russia's hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup, with Reuters reporting that sources close to the investigation have been unable to find clear evidence of any wrongdoing. 

    Critics have raised questions over Russia's bid to host the tournament pointing out that computers leased by the Russian team were subsequently destroyed. 

    However, the Russian organizing committee has hit back at such claims, saying that the decision to destroy the computers was made by their owner and not the team itself, adding that the bid always operated "in full compliance with the spirit and letter of FIFA's Code of Ethics." 

    Others have said the attacks on the Russian bid is merely a sign of sour grapes from Western bids with England being overlooked for the 2018 tournament and the US missing out on 2022.

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    Tags:
    corruption scandal, football, World Cup 2018, FIFA, Russia
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