England culture secretary John Whittingdale said that country would be ready to host the 2022 World Cup if the tournament's hosting duties are stripped from Qatar.
FIFA, the international soccer world’s governing body, has repeatedly said it will not hold a re-vote on the bidding of the 2022 World Cup despite calls to move the tournament out of Qatar because growing concerns about how the bid was won and the treatment of workers who are helping to build soccer stadiums.
Qatar was cleared of any wrongdoing in a FIFA report released in November that looked into potential corruption in bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Swiss federal prosecutors opened separate criminal proceedings relating to the awarding of those tournaments, after 14 people were indicted by the United States Justice Department, accused of decades of "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" corruption by members of FIFA.
Whittingdale says England has the facilities to hold the tournament and are watching closely to see what happens with Qatar.
"But obviously if FIFA came forward and asked us to consider hosting it, we have the facilities in this country and of course we did mount a very impressive, if unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 World Cup,” Whittingdale said, according to the Independent.
Whittingdale said that England probably would not put its hat in the ring on a potential 2022 World Cup re-vote if Russia remains the host of the 2018 tournament.
“If it were decided to change that, I think as the chairman of the English FA observed, if Russia hosts the World Cup in 2018 it does seem very unlikely that another European country would host it in 2022,” Whittingdale said.
- Scooby Axson