Soccer

Dutch FA to investigate corruption claims over joint 2018 WC bid

The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) is to launch an investigation following allegations that the joint bid from Netherlands and Belgium for the 2018 World Cup was corrupt.

Along with a joint bid from Spain and Portugal and England's bid, the Dutch-Belgian campaign was beaten by Russia -- which will host the competition, despite allegations that the result was predetermined.

Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter said recently: "In 2010 we had a discussion of the World Cup and we went to a double decision. For the World Cups it was agreed that we go to Russia because it's never been in Russia, Eastern Europe, and for 2022 we go back to America. And so we will have the World Cup in the two biggest political powers."

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Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant has alleged that the Dutch-Belgian campaign paid money to help secure votes, with the KNVB set to look into the matter.

"The KNVB has taken note of the reports in De Volkskrant on Saturday, December 12th about the process surrounding the World Cup bid from Netherlands and Belgium in 2010," read a statement. "In the context of due diligence, the Dutch FA has launched an investigation in which all documents pertaining to the procedure of the World Cup bid will be scrutinized."

Like the successful Qatar bid for the 2022 World Cup, the voting for the 2018 showpiece has been shrouded in suspicion amid the backdrop of a corruption scandal that has rocked FIFA.

Harry Been, former KNVB general secretary and board member of the 2018 bid, added: "I cannot remember that we in the World Cup campaign bid for 2018 allowed anything inappropriate to pass by. I obviously take questions from this newspaper and the investigation seriously. Files from that time will be removed and studied as quickly as possible and evaluated. We will then notify the result to the outside world."