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Report into alleged 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid corruption submitted

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The investigation into World Cup bidding has found wrongdoing, which an independent committee will now consider before imposing any sanctions.

Ronald Martinez

The investigation into alleged corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids has been completed and the report submitted to FIFA. The investigation and report was done by former U.S. attorney Michael Garcia and an independent committee led by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert will now rule on sanctions against anyone or any organizations found to have breached ethics rules.

"The report sets forth detailed factual findings; reaches conclusions concerning further action with respect to certain individuals; identifies issues to be referred to other Fifa committees; and makes recommendations for future bidding processes," FIFA said in a statement.

Garcia's report was submitted two months late because he added interviews to his investigation. He interviewed everyone involved with the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively. There have been allegations that both countries' bids were aiding by bribery and other methods of corruption, which spurred the investigation.

Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup has been under much more scrutiny than Russia's for 2018. Former FIFA vice-president Mohamed bin Hammam -- who is Qatari, but had no official role in the bid -- has already been banned from football for bribery and The Sunday Times had an extensive report that alleged wide-ranging misdoing by Qatar's bid committee.

FIFA hired Garcia and Eckert, however the organization has maintained that the investigation and ruling committee will operate independently. Now that Garcia has submitted his report, his only other role will be to answer any questions the committee may have or clarify anything that the committee needs to better understand. His report does include recommended action against individuals and proposals for future bidding.

While Eckert does have the power to impose sanctions, he cannot strip Russia or Qatar of the right to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has insisted that only the executive committee, which were also in charge of awarding the tournaments.

FIFA's statement indicates that wrongdoing has been found, but the extent or the culprits remain unclear. FIFA has also said that they will not make the report public.