FIFA probe into Qatar 2022 to report within weeks

Updated: 2014-06-03 09:51


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As a former US attorney, Garcia tried some of the highest profile anti-terrorism cases in the United States. He also investigated the prostitution case that brought down a governor of New York.

FIFA probe into Qatar 2022 to report within weeks
Newspaper alleges $5m corruption in 2022 WCup vote

Peter Goldsmith, a member of FIFA's Independent Governance Committee, became the latest international soccer official to say that the decision to hold the event in Qatar must be revoked if corruption is proved.

"I believe that if these allegations are shown to be true, then the hosting decision for Qatar has to be rerun," Goldsmith, a former British attorney-general, told BBC radio.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who has said the decision to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar was a mistake due to the summer heat, refused to comment on the bribery allegations on Monday.

He and FIFA's secretary-general, Jerome Valcke, were both in Brazil preparing for kick-off of this year's tournament. Valcke also refused to comment.

FIFA's secretary-general, Jerome Valcke, declined to comment when approached by reporters at an event in Rio de Janeiro.

Losing the hosting rights would be a blow to Qatar's efforts to raise its global profile, though its oil and gas wealth would allow it to absorb substantial financial losses. Any rerun of the bidding could favour the losers in the FIFA vote held in 2010 - Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

The sport was rocked when the Sunday Times reported on Sunday that it had evidence that around $5 million was paid to officials in return for votes for Qatar's successful bid, allegations organisers have "vehemently" denied.

The former official at the centre of the allegations, a Qatari who was the head of football in Asia at the time of the decision to award the cup to his native country, has yet to comment publicly on the allegations.

The former official, Mohamed Bin Hammam, was barred from soccer for life in a separate case in 2011 for attempting to bribe officials while mounting a bid to replace Blatter as FIFA head. That ban was overturned but replaced with a new lifetime ban for conflicts of interest.

The Sunday Times published what it said were leaked emails and account records showing Bin Hammam had overseen payments to officials from national soccer associations in return for their support for Qatar's bid to host the 2022 tournament.

Qatar says Bin Hammam was not a member of its bid team, and that its bid won the day on the merits. It is spending billions to hold the event, including building giant air-cooled stadiums which it says will make it possible to play in one of the hottest parts of the world in the heat of summer.

The world players' union FIFPro, said the scandal showed that players should have a greater say in running the game.

"Presently, players and players' interests are too often neglected or ignored in the decision-making process," said the Dutch-based union in a statement.

"It is unacceptable that administration of the game continues to be plagued by scandal after scandal."

The Sunday Times story said Bin Hammam made the payments and took soccer officials on expensive junkets while running the Asian Football Confederation, based in Kuala Lumpur.

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