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    The sun is reflected in FIFA's logo in front of FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland November 19, 2015

    FIFA Awarding US 2022 World Cup Could Have Avoided Corruption Scandals

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    The suspended International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) leader, Joseph Blatter, said on Monday that the scandal involving payments that led to his suspension could have been avoided if the 2022 world championship had been awarded to the United States.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The FIFA Ethics Committee adjudicatory chamber imposed an eight-year ban from all football-related activities on Blatter and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) chief Michel Platini, less than a month after launching formal proceedings against them. FIFA's Ethics Committee chair, Hans-Joachim Eckert, initially sought a lifetime ban and sanctions against both officials on November 24.

    "It was an idea that we shall go in the World Cup 2022 to another powerhouse. If we go to Eastern Europe [Russia in 2018], we should go to the USA," Blatter said at a press conference. "Can you imagine, if this would have worked out, we wouldn’t be here today?"

    Qatar outbid the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia for the World Cup 2022 hosting rights in four voting rounds in December 2010. Russia was awarded World Cup 2018 the same day in two rounds of voting.

    The Swiss Office of the Attorney General launched a probe into a 2011 $2-million "disloyal payment" to Platini in September. The investigation and ensuing suspensions relate to 1999-2002 work Platini allegedly performed for Blatter based on a handshake deal.

    Platini contends that the compensation was for a global development project and for accompanying Blatter on business trips, all carried out without a written contract. The FIFA chamber ruled the oral agreement was "not convincing," claiming that the conduct between the two officials breached FIFA’s Code of Ethics covering gifts and benefits, conflicts of interests and loyalty.

    Blatter underscored at the conference that the committee had dropped "corruption" charges from the investigation.

    FIFA has been plagued by a corruption scandal this year. Several of its officials were arrested in Switzerland on a US warrant on federal charges of fraud, racketeering and laundering in May.

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    corruption scandal, FIFA, FIFA World Cup 2022, Joseph Blatter
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