FIFA investigator to meet Qatar World Cup officials

Monday 02 June 2014 14.21
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FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said a re-run of the vote should take place if allegations are proven
FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said a re-run of the vote should take place if allegations are proven
Mohamed Bin Hammam is accused of using slush funds to pay out cash to top football officials
Mohamed Bin Hammam is accused of using slush funds to pay out cash to top football officials

The chief investigator of FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, is to hold talks with Qatari officials in Oman today.

It comes after fresh allegations were made in yesterday's Sunday Times newspaper of secret payments to help Qatar in its bid to host the World Cup in eight years time.

New York lawyer Michael Garcia, is heading investigations into alleged corruption, surrounding the selection process for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Mr Garcia was due to hold the meeting in Oman today before the article was published.

Qatari organisers of the 2022 World Cup have "vehemently" denied accusations their successful bid was corrupt.

They said lawyers were looking into claims made by a British Sunday newspaper.

The Qataris issued the denial after Jim Boyce, a vice-president of soccer's world governing body FIFA, said he would be in favour of re-running the vote for the 2022 host nation, if the allegations in the Sunday Times could be proved.

The Times claimed it had obtained millions of documents which they say show former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar made payments totalling around $5 million to football officials in return for votes for Qatar.

Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy - the nation's World Cup organising committee - said it had won the right to stage the finals with "the best bid", and that it was "time for the Middle East to host its first FIFA World Cup".

"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," it said.

"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.
             
"We are cooperating fully with (head of FIFA's investigation into corruption) Mr (Michael) Garcia's on-going investigation and remain totally confident that any objective enquiry will conclude we won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup fairly.