EU News

Football fraud in Ukraine could undermine country’s 2030 World Cup bid


Ukrainian bid for 2030 World Cup SCUPPERED as top officials from the country’s football association are arrested after accusations of money-laundering and fraud.

The President of the Ukrainian Football Association, Andriy Pavelko and the General Secretary, Yuri Zapisotsky, were arrested on November 29 for the ‘embezzlement’ of nearly €700,000. The funds were allegedly laundered under the guise of building an artificial grass factory, when the officials moved money sent to their association from a company in the UAE without permission.

Pavelko and Zapisotsky are being held on bail following their arrests in Kyiv, and are barred from communicating with witnesses while an investigation is held into the matter.

Last week as the charges were first announced against the pair, the Ukrainian Football Association had accused investigators of acting on behalf of Russia.

Football experts expect the development to end the country’s bid to hold the World Cup in 2030 in a joint agreement with Spain and France. Pavelko’s proposal had been to hold group stages in Ukraine during the tournament. Other bids for the tournament include a South American alliance, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Betty Henderson

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