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2022 World Cup scandal

June 2, 2014

Allegations have been made against Qatar's 2022 organisers and former FIFA presdential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam. Many senior officials are calling for a re-run of the votes.

Fußball FIFA Mohamed Bin Hammam
Image: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Australia could be set to table a fresh bid for the 2022 World Cup following allegations of corruption and bribery against the Qatari-backed proposal. Qatar have distanced themselves from former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam.

The Sunday Times, a newspaper from the United Kingdom, claimed that $5 million was paid out in bribes in order to guarantee votes and support for the 2022 World Cup bid from Qatar.

The reports claim they have obtained emails, documents and bank transfers showing the alleged payments by bin Hammam. The Qatari candidate is accused of aiding the World Cup bid more than a year before the votes were cast.

Qatar's organising committee have "vehemently" denied the allegations that bin Hammam was using vast reserve funds in order to increase support for the 2022 proposal.

Lord Goldsmith, a member of FIFA's Independent Governance Committee, has ordered the world's governing body to rerun the bid for hosting rights, should the allegations against the organising committee be proven to be accurate.

"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.

Goldsmith went on to suggest that should it be proved, that the decision should not stand because Qatar will have obtained the right to host the World Cup as a result of "bribery and improper influence."

The small, oil-rich Middle Eastern state‘s bid has been clouded with controversy from the very beginning. European clubs have been at loggerheads with governing bodies over the scheduling of the competition, with suggestions to move the event to winter because of soaring temperatures dismissed by senior club officials.

Qatar eased past Australia's bid to host the event, with the Australian's receiving only one vote. The Arab state also held off challenges from the United States, Japan and South Korea.

"They're serious allegations and we're looking to see what the response to that will be," David Gallop, the Australian Football Federation's CEO, said.

"It's too early to say whether that re-opens the door to anything that happened a few years ago, in terms of Australia's position, but it's a bit of a 'watch this space' at this stage."

Three years ago, at the height of another FIFA corruption scandal, bin Hammam denied accusations of bribery made against him by committee member Chuck Blazer. He was handed a second life ban in 2011 for political conflicts during his tenure as president of the Asian Football Confederation.

Bin Hammam has yet to publicly contest the allegations made against him.

rd/jh (DPA, AFP, AP, Reuters)

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