Pressure mounts on FIFA following fresh Qatar 2022 corruption allegations

by Jak Phillips | 02 Jun 2014

FIFA investigator Michael Garcia is set to meet organisers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup on Monday night, amid calls for the bidding process to be reopened following fresh allegations of corruption.

World football’s governing body is currently awaiting results of a semi-independent inquiry led by Garcia into outcomes of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding races, with senior stakeholders reportedly considering what action to take if the report recommends a new vote.

UK politicians and former football executives have expressed concern over the current process, following allegations made in the Sunday Times that Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari former Fifa executive committee member, paid US$5m (€3.7m, £3m) in cash, gifts and legal fees to senior football officials – particularly from Africa – to help build a consensus of support behind the bid.

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has said he would support a re-vote if corruption allegations can be proven.

"I certainly as a member of the executive committee would have absolutely no problem whatsoever if the recommendation was for a re-vote,” said Boyce in a radio interview.

"If Garcia comes up with concrete evidence - and concrete evidence is given to the executive committee and to Fifa - then it has to be looked at very seriously."

Qatar overcame rival bids from the US, Australia, Japan and South Korea to stage the 2022 World Cup – winning 14 of the 22 votes – despite a preliminary report raising serious concerns over the suitability of the small desert state for hosting football, due to its sweltering climate.

The developments come less than two weeks before the 2014 World Cup is due to kick-off in Brazil and provide further headaches for FIFA’s controversial president Sepp Blatter, who has indicated he intends to stand for re-election to the post in 2015.

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FIFA investigator Michael Garcia is set to meet organisers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup on Monday night, amid calls for the bidding process to be reopened following fresh allegations of corruption. World football’s governing body is currently awaiting results of a semi-independent inquiry led by Garcia into outcomes of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding races, with senior stakeholders reportedly considering what action to take if the report
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