ZURICH, Switzerland, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Russia and Qatar, the next hosts of the World Cup, were cleared Thursday of corruption allegations by FIFA, the soccer tournament's organizing body.
A 42-page report noted any ethical violations by Russia, which will stage the event in 2018, and Qatar, which gets the World Cup in 2022, were "far from reaching any threshold that would require returning to the bidding process, let alone reopening it. The various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole."
A statement from FIFA said it welcomed the report, although adjustments may be made to Qatar's 2022 plans to play the tournament in the summer, as traditional. The intense heat of Qatar's summer is now seen as making a summer event impractical, and it may be moved to later in the year.
The most severe criticism in the report, for ethical violations, was placed on England's losing bid for the 2018 World Cup, and that of Australia's 2022 bid. The English Football Association was accused of attempting to "curry favor" with former FIFA official Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago. Warner resigned his position after bribery allegations in 2011.