Football assoc.: No proof of bribery in Dutch-Belgian 2018 World Cup bid

Dutch football association KNVB launched an investigation into events surrounding the joint Netherlands-Belgium bid to host the 2018 World Cup. This follows allegations in the Volkskrant that bribery was involved in the bidding. According to the KNVB, there is no proof of any bribery being involved.

On Saturday the Volkskrant reported that the Dutch-Belgian bid team paid 10 thousand euros to a African lobbyist in 2009 and thereby violated FIFA rules. The lobbyist was supposed to get more votes for the Netherlands and Belgium to host the 2018 World Cup.

According to the KNVB, they launched an investigation after this report in the "context of being careful". All the documents pertaining to the bidding procedure will be scrutinized.

The KNVB and the Belgian football association KBVB previously also cooperated in an investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee into the allocations of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. "The Belgian-Dutch bid came out of the investigation completely clean", according to the football association. "The investigative committee even thanked the Belgian and Dutch organizations for their full cooperation and transparency". The report on the investigation stated that "the Ethics Committee identified no problems with regard to the Holland/Belgium bid."