FFA starts defamation case over corruption claims

SYDNEY, July 6, 2010 (AFP) - Football Federation Australia (FFA) Tuesday said it had launched legal action against the Fairfax newspaper group over claims its bid for the 2022 World Cup was marred by corruption.

The FFA said it had commenced defamation proceedings in Sydney's Supreme Court over a number of recent articles relating to Australia's Cup bid.

"The articles contain serious defamatory allegations regarding the conduct of the Bid, including FFA’s accounting practices and its compliance with FIFA regulations and its Government Funding Agreement", an FFA spokesman said.

"FFA completely rejects these serious allegations and is seeking damages."

FFA Sunday said the Australian government had cleared it of wrongdoing after Fairfax alleged it had spent "secret millions" on lobbyist fees and gifts of jewellery and free travel to FIFA executives and their wives.

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