Russia and Qatar could be stripped of hosting the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively, if evidence of bribery or other corruption emerges, a FIFA compliance official told a Swiss newspaper, The Guardian reports.
Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, told SonntagsZeitung that the discovery of evidence suggesting bribery in the bidding process could lose the countries their hosting rights.
“If evidence should emerge that the awards to Qatar and Russia only came about thanks to bought votes, then the awards could be invalidated,” Scala told the newspaper.
“This evidence has not yet been brought forth.”
Russia and Qatar have denied wrongdoing in the bidding process for the World Cups. The indictments announced last week against FIFA officials and marketing executives by U.S. prosecutors did not target the countries’ bids.
In a separate interview with the paper Sonntags Blick, Scala also suggested term limits on FIFA’s presidency could be a positive reform. Sepp Blatter was elected to his fifth term as president on May 29 but resigned on June 2 as pressure remained on him and soccer’s governing body.
Blatter will remain president until FIFA’s next election, which Scala previously said could take place “anytime from December of this year to March of next year.”
- Mike Fiammetta