Qatar's World Cup bid committee has denied recent claims by the Sunday Times and insisted that everything done to acquire hosting rights for the 2022 tournament was above board.
The Times claimed, after coming across leaked documents, that the Qatari bid team tasked a US PR firm and a former CIA agent with creating a smear campaign to sabotage their rivals.
The English paper claims the World Cup's next hosts were keen on giving the impression that other countries who bid could not domestically support the competition.
They have since released a staunch denial, refuting the Times' accusations and insisting that everything done was undertaken with the utmost integrity.
“The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” an SCDL statement reads.
“In regard to the latest allegations from the Sunday Times, we say again that Mohamed bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee. As was the case with every other member of FIFA’s Executive Committee, our bid team had to convince Mr Bin Hammam of the merits of our bid.
“Following today’s newspaper articles, we vehemently deny all allegations of wrongdoing. We will take whatever steps are necessary to defend the integrity of Qatar’s bid and our lawyers are looking in to this matter. The right to host the tournament was won because it was the best bid and because it is time for the Middle East to host its first FIFA World Cup."
The Qatari bid team has already come under scrutiny before and were previously accused of corruption. However, they were cleared after a two-year FIFA inquiry.