Investigation by British newspaper alleges network of payments for World Cup votes
Qatar had won the bid to host 2022 World Cup finals
USA, Australia, Japan and South Korea lost out
FIFA executive committee member calls for rerun of vote
As new allegations emerged surrounding the FIFA bidding process for the World Cup finals, an American former anti-terrorism lawyer will interview leading figures from Qatar’s bid team in Oman Monday.
Those interviews will take place against the backdrop of calls for a new vote on which country should host the 2022 event.
Qatar has promised laywer Michael Garcia “full cooperation” after soccer’s global governing body was engulfed in new scandal following a British newspaper’s damning investigation into the bidding process for the World Cup finals.
The story alleges a Qatari official paid more than $5 million in an attempt to secure support for his country’s successful bid to host the 2022 tournament.
The Sunday Times alleges that Mohamed bin Hammam made secret payments to soccer officials in the run up to the controversial ballot.
Bin Hammam, the former president of the Asian Football Confederation, was a member of FIFA’s powerful 24-person executive committee charged with voting on who hosted the finals at the time of the vote in 2010.
Despite the country’s small size, a technical report from FIFA calling its bid “high risk” and summer temperatures that can exceed 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), Qatar shocked the world by winning the right to host the 2022 finals, defeating bids by the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has said he would back a re-vote, potentially opening the possibility of the U.S. staging the 2022 tournament.
When FIFA voted on who should host the 2022 World Cup in 2010, the organization ‘s president Sepp Blatter reportedly voted for the U.S., while a potential rival for the presidency, UEFA chief Michel Platini, voted for Qatar.
‘Millions’ of e-mails
The Sunday Times claims to have seen millions of e-mails detailing payments to officials in the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific designed to secure support for the tiny, gas-rich Middle Eastern emirate’s quixotic bid to host the world’s most popular sports tournament.
“Bit by bit, we have been unraveling it and finally we hit the mother lode,” Sarah Baxter, deputy editor of the Sunday Times, told CNN in an interview.