World Cup

US attorney visits England

Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (L) and Sepp Blatter (R).
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FIFA's ethics investigator is to visit England next week as part of his review of the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Michael Garcia, a US attorney, want to speaks to all nine bidding nations for the two tournaments.

His first stop is understood to be England, whose former 2018 bid leader Lord Triesman made a number of allegations about the bidding process to a Parliamentary committee in 2011.

However, Garcia may run into problems - the 2018 bid was won by Russia and in April the attorney was one of 18 people named on a list of Americans barred from entering Russia over what Moscow said were human rights abuses.

Garcia was involved in the arrest and charging of Viktor Bout, a Russian, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the USA for arms trafficking.

Triesman claimed four FIFA members sought inducements of various kinds in return for backing England's failed 2018 World Cup bid. An initial probe by the world governing body said there was no evidence that had taken place, and three of the four - Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz and Ricardo Teixeira - have since left FIFA in disgrace for matters unconnected with World Cup bidding.

Garcia is also expected to look into alleged collusion between Spain's bid for 2018 and Qatar's bid for the 2022 tournament, though this was also investigated by FIFA at the time, and into the extent of external political influence on the 24-man FIFA executive committee which voted on the hosts in December 2010.

The executive committee is meeting in Zurich later this week to discuss proposals to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter to avoid the extreme heat of June/July.

FIFA's administration is pushing for a decision to be taken in principle to allow work to begin on deciding which time of year to hold the tournament, but some members believe any decision should be postponed pending further inquiries into the effects of any move.

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