Latest News

Back to Latest News back


FFA Drops World Cup Bid Libel Action

FFA Drops World Cup Bid Libel Action
April 7, 2011

The Football Federation Australia (FFA) has dropped libel proceedings against publishers of a series of exposes on the conduct of its failed World Cup bid, as it stands accused of using the action to stop further bad headlines in the run up to last December's announcement of the hosts for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Under the terms of the agreement it is understood that the FFA will meet its own costs, estimated to be in the region of $30,000. The FFA refused to confirm these figures, saying that the terms of the settlement are confidential.

The development comes just days after the journalists who broke the series of scoops, Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie, were awarded the prestigious 'Sports Story of the Year' by the Melbourne Press Club. The judges said that their investigation "exposed ethical questions" about Australia's pursuit of the World Cup bid and "revealed questionable use of public money."

In their entry Baker and McKenzie said that the now-withdrawn legal action was "purely aimed at stopping our reporting in the lead up to the bid."

The pair said that "despite intense rhetoric" the FFA had not managed to find "a single falsehood" in its reporting and that the series "exemplified brave public interest reporting in the face of sustained pressure by the FFA and its chairman Frank Lowy."

The $46 million Australian bid was funded by the Australian Government.

The series of stories in The Age newspaper prompted investigations by FIFA and the Australian Government, as well as changes to World Cup bid rules.

In the stories, The Age made a series of allegations including:

• FIFA Executive committee members received inappropriate gifts and hospitality, including jewellery to a total value of A$50,000;
• The FFA covertly kept dual sets of accounts record-keeping for internal use and government reporting;
• That two of its international bid consultants stood to earn as much as a quarter of Australia's $46 million publicly funded bid budget;
• Australia's bid sought FIFA Executive committee influence by acceding to members' "personal and political demands".

The FFA denied the allegations, telling journalists from other outlets that they were "innuendo" based on "unsourced gossip and insinuations" with "no substance whatsoever"

Although the FFA were cleared by a Government investigation into allegations of accounting irregularities it now seems clear that they were unable to back up claims about the veracity of The Age's reporting in a courtroom.

In July last year, FIFA cleared the FFA of giving gifts to Executive committee members of an inappropriate value, but in light of allegations clarified bid guidelines so that FIFA's administration could keep better track of bid's lobbying efforts.


3rd December 2010 - QATAR WINS 2022 WORLD CUP BID




Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

BH Fitness

BH Fitness, part of the long-standing and iconic bike manufacturer BH Group, is a global leader in fitness equipment for both Commercial and Home markets. The company, with the headquarters based in…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness



Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


@leisure Planners

@leisure is a team of experienced leisure, aquatic and sports facility managers and planners, with market modelling, sports management, recreation planning, business and GIS qualifications. We have…

read more



Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues


XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more



get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business