FIFA is due to announce on Thursday the outcome of a probe into alleged corruption and collusion that has upset bidding for football's 2018 and 2022 World Cups just two weeks before the hosts are chosen.
The ethics committee of world football's governing body has been meeting since Monday in an attempt to complete its investigation after two of the 24 members of FIFA's executive committee were provisionally suspended last month.
Four other football officials and ex-FIFA decision makers were also sidelined following the claims of possible vote buying raised in a controversial sting by undercover reporters for a British newspaper.
The events of the past month have revived uncomfortable memories of old influence-peddling scandals that shook world football's decision-making body. They have also forced some of the front runners onto the defensive to avoid a backlash.
The chief of the joint Spanish-Portugal bid, Miguel Angel Lopez, has denied alleged collusion with 2022 candidate Qatar in the bidding process also raised by The Sunday Times.
FIFA sought to restrict contact between executive committee members and bidders in July, and ethics committee chief Claudio Sulser has vowed "zero tolerance" if allegations of corruption or illicit collusion are proven.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants to press ahead with the executive committee's choice on December 2 after a glitzy and high profile final pitch by the bidders in Zurich even if suspensions on Nigeria's Amos Adamu or Oceanian football chief Reynald Temarii are upheld.
FIFA evaluates ability of WC bidders
GENEVA: Qatar's desert heat. The system of federal government in the United States. Russia's domestic transport links. FIFA's technical advisors provided reasons to reject all nine 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding projects in evaluation reports published Wednesday, 15 days before its executive committee chooses the two winners in a secret ballot. The assessments are designed to highlight legal, commercial and organizational risks that football's governing body could face in opting to entrust a bidder with the tournament that earns FIFA about 95 percent of its income every four years.
"We feel we have accomplished our work in the spirit of integrity, objectiveness and transparency," Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the Chilean who led the inspections, said in an introduction to his team's report.
Qatar and the United States are hoping for the 2022 World Cup, along with Australia, South Korea and Japan. Russia is up against England, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands for 2018.
Bid evaluations are on the executive agenda. The six-member technical panel aimed to highlight concerns after making visits to each bid team between July and September.