Ben Buckley Forced To Defend Australia's World Cup Bid

Document reveals heavy financial reward for lobbyists.
Football Federation Australia CEO Ben Buckley has been forced to defend his country's World Cup bid after it was revealed two lobbyists will receive over 11 million Australian dollars if the campaign for 2022 is successful.

German Fedor Radmann and Hungarian Peter Hargitay are the lobbyists in question, after Fairfax newspapers got hold of documents also outlining how the Australian government, which has subsidised the bid with taxpayer money, was not speficially told about how it would be spent.

Also detailed are gifts handed out to wives of members of FIFA's executive committee and the sponsorship of a team linked to FIFA Vice President Jack Warner to visit Cyprus.

The members of the executive committee will of course vote on who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, with Australia recently having pulled out of the race for the former.

FFA CEO Buckley has said that the governing body has acted in accordance with FIFA guidelines.

“Furthermore our financial records and reporting for the World Cup Bid are in accordance with our World Cup Bid funding agreement  and independently audited," Buckley said.

"Our regular progress reports under this agreement have been  transparent and  any suggestion otherwise is mischievous and unhelpful."

When financial support from the government was first announced for the bid, suggestions that funds would go towards affording luxuries to FIFA power-brokers was played down by the FFA.

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