Soccer

Qatar organizers deny corruption allegations around World Cup

{eot}
The Canadian Press
6/1/2014 10:43:26 AM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

GENEVA -- Organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have denied fresh allegations of wrongdoing after a British newspaper report questioned the integrity of choosing the emirate as tournament host.

The Sunday Times said a "senior FIFA insider" had provided "hundreds of millions of emails, accounts and other documents" detailing payments totalling $5 million that Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam allegedly gave football officials to build support for the bid.

Bin Hammam was a member of FIFA's executive committee for 16 years and key power broker until being expelled in 2012 for financial corruption during his time as Asian Football Confederation president.

The Qatar 2022 organizing committee's statement on Sunday stressed that Bin Hammam "played no official or unofficial role in the bid committee."

However, most FIFA executive committee voters in December 2010 were bin Hammam's longtime colleagues. Among them, Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil, Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago have since resigned while under investigation for corruption.

"The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid," the Qatari statement said, adding "we vehemently deny all allegations of wrongdoing. We will take whatever steps are necessary to defend the integrity of Qatar's bid and our lawyers are looking into this matter."

The Sunday Times alleged that bin Hammam paid for cash gifts, hospitality and legal fees for some FIFA colleagues, including Warner, and dozens of African football leaders.

FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia has received the new evidence to help his investigation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests, the newspaper reported.

Garcia was scheduled to meet with Qatari bid officials on Monday in Oman.

"We are co-operating fully with Mr. Garcia's on-going investigation and remain totally confident that any objective enquiry will conclude we won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup fairly," the Qatari statement said.

FIFA declined comment on Sunday about the reports, which revived calls for the 2022 World Cup vote to be re-run. Qatar defeated the United States in a final round after Australia, Japan and South Korea were eliminated.

Instead, football's governing body suggested in a statement to "please kindly contact the office" of Garcia's law firm in New York City.

The law firm, Kirkland and Ellis, did not respond immediately to requests for comment, or to confirm Garcia's meetings with Qatar officials.

Garcia and his investigating team have been travelling across the world meeting officials who worked for the nine candidates ahead of the December 2010 votes. Russia won the 2018 hosting poll.

FIFA board member Jim Boyce, who joined in 2011 after Bin Hammam was initially suspended, said Sunday that he could support a re-vote if bribery could be proved.

"If Garcia's report comes up and his recommendations are that wrongdoing happened for that vote for the 2022 World Cup, I certainly as a member of the executive committee would have absolutely no problem whatsoever if the recommendation was for a re-vote," Boyce told the BBC's Sportsweek radio program.

Garcia is scheduled to submit his report to FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert of Germany, who can recommend sanctions.

Qatar World Cup (Photo: Nadine Rupp/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Nadine Rupp/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Podcasts

TSN FC with Luke Wileman, Jason deVos & Kristian Jack - August 26

Luke, Jason & KJ recap the start to the EPL season, Crystal Palace's search for a manager, Malky Mackay, plus chat MLS as well.

TSN 690 oranges @ halftime Aug 19

Joined in studio w/Paul Desbaillets co-founder of annual soccer charity event GOAL MTL. We chat w/Susan Bell, Danny Smiles, UM02 Carlos & Heath Pearce

TSN 690 oranges @ halftime Aug 19: Susan Bell

Fund Development Director of Tyndale St-George discusses GOAL MTL's legacy and the impact the funds raised have on her community


More Podcasts

Premier League Shows on TSN.ca

TSN.ca is Canada's exclusive home to highlight and feature programs from the Barclay's Premier League. Check out the latest programs on VOD below.


Net Busters

See all the goals, saves, bloopers and quotes from each week

- Episode 2


BPL Match Pack

Weekly match preview show using interesting facts & figures

- Week 2

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television