Prince William has been drawn into the corruption scandal around the 2018 World Cup, after it was revealed that the Prince, who is the president of Britain’s Football Association, was present at a meeting with the South Korean delegation in which the possibility of reciprocal voting for each other’s bids to host the World Cup was discussed.
David Cameron, the former British Prime minister, was also present at the meeting.
While there is no suggestion that William encouraged or endorsed such a scheme, which would have been in contravention of strict international rules, the failure of Cameron or William to object to it is now being questioned.
The revelations are contained in a long-suppressed report into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which will be hosted by Russia and Qatar respectively.
The report, by Jack Garcia, was never published. Only a vanilla summary of it was published by FIFA – and Garcia swiftly disavowed the summary as a misrepresentation of his findings.
However, after being leaked to a German newspaper, the report has now been published in full.
The former PM and the heir to the throne were at a meeting where a vote-swapping deal was discussed, the official report says.
It reveals how Mr Cameron asked South Korea to back England’s 2018 bid, but was told to back their 2022 bid in return.
The venue for the meeting was Prince William’s suite at the Baur au lac Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland.
The report details a litany of rule breaches by virtually every country bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The England 2018 World Cup bid team was found to have "accommodated or at least attempted to satisfy the improper requests" of Fifa executive committee members.
The report stated that the culture of corruption in Fifa made it difficult for a bid team to maintain a lily-white stance, saying, “the bidding process itself, and the attitude of entitlement and expectation demonstrated by certain Executive Committee members in the exchanges... placed the bid team in a difficult position.”