Australia Accused of Tapping Foreign Aid for World Cup Bid

Australia team celebrates their first half goal during the 2005 World Cup. Photo by: Martin English / CC BY 2.0 Martin EnglishCC BY 2.0

Australia allegedly used foreign aid funding and proposed appointing key officials of the International Federation of Association Football, or FIFA, as honorary consuls to secure backing for its campaign to host the World Cup.

AusAID has agreed to help the Football Federation Australia’s World Cup bid and increased funding for aid initiatives in Africa and Oceania, according to investigations by the paper, The Age. FFA aims to win the backing of African and Oceania representatives on FIFA’s executive committee, which decides the location of the World Cup.

FIFA’s executive committee will announce the successful World Cup bidders in December.

FFA in 2009 discussed appointing Ivory Coast FIFA executive committee member Jacques Adamou and then-U.K. FIFA executive committee member Geoff Thompson as honorary consuls, The Age says.

Appointing FIFA officials as honorary consuls was ”extremely improper,” said Paul Barrett, former deputy secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, adding that Australian aid should be used to reduce poverty and promote development.

”If aid is motivated by a desire to host the World Cup, then it would fail to meet these primary aims,” Barrett said.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.

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