Re-run 2022 vote if corruption proved: Goldsmith

FIFA official believes Qatar needs to answer allegations convincingly.


Agencies June 02, 2014
A British newspaper on Sunday claimed 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. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LONDON:


The vote for the hosting of the 2022 World Cup must be re-run if corruption allegations surrounding Qatar’s winning campaign are proved to be accurate, Lord Goldsmith, a member of Fifa’s Independent Governance Committee, said on Monday.


A British newspaper on Sunday claimed 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 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) expressed ‘grave concern’ at the reports, but said that Qatar would ‘do its utmost’ to clear the doubts.

Meanwhile, African Football Confederation (CAF) President and Fifa vice-president Issa Hayatou categorically denied that he received gifts to support Qatar’s bid, dismissing the allegations as ‘fanciful’, ‘ridiculous’ and part of a ‘smear campaign’ against him.

Goldsmith, Britain’s former Attorney General, said that if football’s world governing body was to weather scandals surrounding World Cup bids, it had to “to produce a convincing and transparent answer to these allegations”.

“I believe that if these allegations are shown to be true, then the hosting decision for Qatar has to be rerun,” he told BBC radio.

“If it is proved that the decision to give Qatar the World Cup was procured through bribery and improper influence, then that decision ought not to stand.”

The man at the centre of the allegations, Qatari former Fifa executive committee member and AFC chief Mohamed bin Hammam, was not an official member of the bid team and has yet to comment publicly on the allegations.

Meanwhile, Football Federation Australia (FFA) said it may re-submit its bid to host the 2022 World Cup, after hearing of the fresh allegations against Qatar.

“It’s a serious development, they’re serious allegations and we’re looking to see what the response to that will be,” FFA chief executive David Gallop told Melbourne local radio.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2014.

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