Feds looking into corruption charges against FIFA as outrage over World Cup bids grows

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Feds looking into corruption charges against FIFA as outrage over World Cup bids grows
People watch as the facade of the historical Bolshoi Theatre is illuminated with the official emblem of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia in central Moscow on late October 28, 2014. World football boss Sepp Blatter on Tuesday opposed any boycott of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and backed the huge preparations undertaken by President Vladimir Putin's government for the mega event. AFP PHOTO/KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 28: A general view of reconstruction site of the Luzhniki stadium on October 28, 2014 in Moscow, Russia. The Luzhniki stadium is to become one of the venues of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.(Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
A statue of late Soviet leader Lenin stands in front of Luzhniki football stadium in Moscow on October 20, 2014. FIFA inspection delegation headed by German Christian Unger; including FIFA and Russia 2018 World Cup organising committee representatives are holding their first official inspection visit to the World Cup stadiums through until October 23. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A general view taken on November 13, 2014 shows Khalifa Stadium in Doha which is undergoing complete renovation in preparation to host some of the matches for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Football's world governing body FIFA has cleared Qatar and Russia of corruption and ruled out a re-vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments despite widespread allegations of wrongdoing. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Picture shows the logo of the FIFA in front of the organisation's head office in Zurich on September 26, 2014, on the last day of the meeting of the executive committee. President Sepp Batter formalized his candidature for a 5th mandate at the head of the FIFA. Meanwhile the condition of attribution of the world cup 2022 for the Qatar are still discussed. AFP PHOTO / SEBASTIEN BOZON (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images)
Construction continues unabated in Doha, Qatar, in preparation for the World Cup in 2022
Trader selling replic World Cup football trophy on market stall in Souk Waqif in Doha Qatar
FIFA World Cup 2022 promotion on a building site fence side in Doha, Qatar
Cityscape view of downtown Doha, Qatar with sea in foreground
The Al-Rayyan stadium in Doha, one of the proposed stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, Doha, Qatar, Middle East
Construction continues unabated in Doha, Qatar, in preparation for the World Cup in 2022
The new Kazan football stadium in Tatarstan, built for the 2018 world cup in Russia with massive video screen
Moscow, Russia. 30th Aug, 2014. Moscow Opens World Cup 2018 Stadium - Otkrytie Arena © Nikolay Vinokurov/Alamy Live News


Federal officials are reportedly moving to bring corruption charges against FIFA, soccer's global governing body.

The FBI's New York field office is nearing the end of a three-year investigation into the 2018 Russia and 2022 Qatar World Cup bidding processes, according to a CNN report.

This news comes only hours after FIFA investigators cleared the organization of any wrongdoing despite growing outrage over how both World Cups were awarded.

Sources told the cable news network that at least one ex-FIFA official has provided investigators recordings of meetings and documents detailing the alleged corruption.

A previous New York Daily News report cited by CNN names the cooperator as former FIFA official Chuck Blazer. He declined comment when reached by the network.

Soccer's governing body, based in Switzerland, has been the subject of multiple investigations after authorities in multiple countries called into question how Qatar and Russia won their respective World Cup bids.

FIFA hired its own investigators to look into the matter, but they found nothing wrong, according to a 40-page statement posted online Thursday by the organization.

"FIFA welcomes the fact that a degree of closure has been reached," FIFA said in the statement. "As such, FIFA looks forward to continuing the preparations for Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, which are already well underway."

Robert Garcia, a former federal prosecutor from New York hired by FIFA to head the probe, lashed out against the group just hours later in comments to the New York Daily News.

"I intend to appeal this decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee," Garcia told the paper, adding that his findings were "mischaracterized" and the statement "contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and [his] conclusions."

FIFA instead chose to cast aspersions on the committees who submitted losing bids in the 2010 vote but appeared to compliment the Russian and Qatari bids.

"The various incidents which might have occurred are not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole," FIFA concluded. But the organization "can and must improve the bidding process," he added.

No details were offered by FIFA as to how it intends to improve the process.

Previously published reports suggested the head of Qatar's bidding team bribed at least one FIFA official with a $1 million payment to his son.

An AOL News call to the FBI's New York field office appeared to blindside an agency spokesperson who demanded to know where the reports were coming from and then declined to comment before abruptly ending the call.

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