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Qatar Loses World Cup in 2022 if Bribes True, Say Soccer Insiders

Image: Qatar Loses World Cup in 2022 if Bribes True, Say Soccer Insiders
In this March 2011 file photo, President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Mohamed Bin Hammam attends a press conference.

By    |   Monday, 02 Jun 2014 12:53 PM

Rumors are swirling that the Arab nation of Qatar could lose the 2022 World Cup if allegations of bribery made in London's Sunday Times are substantiated.

The Sunday Times article accused senior FIFA official Mohamed Bin Hammam of paying as much as $5 million to "dozens" of top soccer officials to support Qatar as the World Cup site, according to Sky News.

The World Cup is one of the largest global sporting events, hosting soccer teams from 32 countries annually. Held once every four years like the Summer and Winter Olympics, the event brings together the best soccer players in the world together for its tournament. Brazil is hosting the World Cup this year and Russia in 2018.

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The Sunday Times accused Bin Hammam, according to Sky News, of pulling money from up to 10 "slush funds" to pay off soccer officials to create a "ground well" of support for Qatar's bid despite notable shortcomings, which included the harshly hot temperatures there during the traditional time of the tournament.

Bin Hammam allegedly gave out $400,000 alone to African soccer officials while hosting what was called lavish junkets to woo their support, the Sunday Times reported.

FIFA vice president Jim Boyce, who was not part of the committee that approved Qatar as the 2022 host, said he would be in favor of voting for a new host country if the allegations are proven true, reported ESPN.

"As a member currently of the FIFA executive committee, we feel that any evidence whatsoever that people involved were bribed to do a certain vote, all that evidence should go to Michael Garcia, whom FIFA have given full authority to, and let's await the report that comes back from Garcia," Boyce said on BBC Radio 5's "Sportsweek."

"If Garcia comes up with concrete evidence and concrete evidence is given to the executive committee and to FIFA then it has to be looked at very seriously at that time, there's no doubt about that."

The Guardian reported that soccer officials from Australia and Japan, which lost out to Qatar in the 2022 bidding, are urging the FIFA to reconsider the Middle East country and launch a re-vote for the tournament.

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Rumors are swirling that the Arab nation of Qatar could lose the 2022 World Cup if allegations of bribery made in London's Sunday Times are substantiated.
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2014-53-02
Monday, 02 Jun 2014 12:53 PM
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