Thursday 18 December 2014

FA chairman: 'FIFA must re-run the vote for the 2022 World Cup if allegations of corruption are proven'

Published 01/06/2014 | 21:25

Greg Dyke's proposals have been met with criticism
Greg Dyke

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke claims FIFA must re-run the vote for the 2022 World Cup if allegations of corruption are proven.

Dyke's comments come after The Sunday Times claimed it had gained access to millions of emails and documents which have highlighted payments made by disgraced former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam.

The newspaper claims the documents show Bin Hammam made payments to football officials as part of a campaign to win support for Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid.

Sources with connections to Bin Hammam insist, however, he was not part of the Qatar bid team and was already building his power-base ahead of a challenge for the FIFA presidency.

The Qatar 2022 World Cup bid committee denied any wrong-doing in a statement on Sunday.

FIFA's chief investigator Michael Garcia is looking into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and is due to meet officials from the Qatar bid in Oman next week.

Dyke said if corruption was proved then FIFA needed to act.

The FA chairman told Channel 4 News: "Some of this evidence on the face of it is quite compelling.

"If the evidence is there, that the process is corrupt, then obviously the process has to be looked at again."

In a separate interview with BBC Sport, Dyke added: "I think if it is shown it was a corrupt system and that the people who won used bribes and other influences to get the vote, then of course it has got to be done again."

In its statement, Qatar 2022 said Bin Hammam had no association with them.

"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," the statement 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 Mr 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.

"Following today's newspaper articles, we vehemently deny all allegations of wrong-doing. 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."

Bin Hammam, who was also the president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), was banned for life from football by the FIFA ethics committee in 2012 for "conflicts of interest". According to The Sunday Times, he authorised payments into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations and accounts controlled by the Trinidadian Jack Warner, a former vice-president of FIFA.

Britain's FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce, who was not on the executive committee at the time of the vote, told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme he would be in favour of re-running the vote for the 2022 World Cup if the allegations were proven.

Boyce said: "If Garcia's report comes up and his recommendations are that wrongdoing happened for that vote for the 2022 World Cup, I certainly as a member of the ExCo would have absolutely no problem whatsoever if the recommendation was for a re-vote."

Labour's shadow sports minister Clive Efford said FIFA president Sepp Blatter's position was "untenable".

He added: "This issue calls the governance of football into question. No one will have any confidence in a FIFA investigation run by Sepp Blatter.

"If these allegations are true then those involved should resign.

"FIFA must take urgent action and reopen the bidding for the 2022 World Cup if it wants to restore its credibility."

FIFA did not respond to emails asking it to comment.

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