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The former Football Association chairman David Bernstein urges European nations to boycott the 2018 World Cup unless world governing body FIFA undergoes serious reform.

He believes the tournament could not be taken seriously without Europe’s major nations and that a boycott would be supported by the English public.

This comes after FIFA was accused of taking bribes and allegations of corruption (strenuously denied) regarding the Qatar 2022 and Russia 2018 bid teams. Much of the anger stems from the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, where blistering summer temperatures means the event could be switched to winter.

Just hours following the release of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup report, Michael Garcia, the man who conducted the investigation questioned the report. Mr Garcia complained that a 42 page summary of his 430 page report contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts”.

Garcia immediately reported the chair of the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, the German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, to the appeals committee of the scandal-plagued governing body. Garcia’s dramatic intervention come just hours after Eckert had confirmed the Guardian’s revelation that Russia and Qatar would be cleared of substantive wrongdoing and would not be stripped of the tournaments despite a whirlwind of speculation.

This is the latest controversy to hit football’s world governing body, which has been riddled with allegations of corruption in recent times.

According to Bernstein boycotting football’s biggest tournament should be a real possibility but only if other countries support England in doing so.

Similar views have been expressed by German Football League president Reinhard Rauball, who suggested UEFA could leave FIFA if Garcia’s findings are not published in full.

Meanwhile, Bernstein has resigned from FIFA’s anti-discrimination taskforce. He described it as “ineffectual” and wishes to end his ties with the organisation.

Bernstein is quoted as saying that FIFA is a “totalitarian” setup that reminds him of the old Soviet empire and is beyond ridicule.


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