British MPs call for FIFA investigation into alleged payments linked to Qatar World Cup
Members of British Parliament are calling upon FIFA to look into a recent report from The Telegraph that alleges a former FIFA official and his family received approximately $2 million from a firm that had close ties to Qatar's successful bid for the World Cup in 2022.
British officials say that FIFA should consider stripping Qatar of its right to host the tournament if an investigation finds the allegations to be true. Clive Efford, a member of the Labour Party, said it appears to him that there was "serious corruption" during the bidding process and called for a reopening of the bidding should FIFA find the Telegraph report to be accurate:
“Fifa should carry out a full investigation. It looks like there may have been serious corruption in the bid and it has to raise serious concerns about sending the World Cup to Qatar. If Fifa looks into all the information and finds that there is corruption, they should reopen the bidding process."
Chairman of the Parliamentary Sports, Media & Culture Committee John Whittingdale echoed that sentiment, saying that serious doubt has been cast on the integrity of the bidding process. Others from British Parliament also chimed in with their thoughts on the recent Telegraph report; another Labour representative and former Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, Tessa Jowell, called the findings "surprising" and pushed for an investigation. Paul Farrelly, another Labour MP, added that "if wrongdoing is found, the tournament should be moved elsewhere."
Damian Collins, a Conservative member of British Parliament, said he's concerned about the bidding process being conducted without the best interests of the sport:
“I think this raises a big concern that the decision to give Qatar the World Cup was based on money, not based on sporting interests.”
The report found that Jack Warner, FIFA's former vice president, was allegedly paid $1.2 million from a firm controlled by former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were reportedly paid to Warner's son's and one of his employees. The payments were allegedly executed after Qatar won the bid, and the FBI is now aiding in the investigation into Warner and any ties he had to the successful bid.
A spokesman for Qatar's World Cup organizing committee told The Telegraph that the successful bid to host the tournament in 2022 was subject to, and adhered to, FIFA's regulations and its code of ethics. Warner and his family declined comment and Bin Hammam could not be reached, according to the report.
Qatar's World Cup has been mired in other controversies as well. Hundreds of migrant workers have died building infrastructure in the Gulf nation, and concerns over Qatar's brutal summer heat continue to mount. WILSON: Know Your Enemy: Germany midfielder Toni Kroos