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Qatar 2022: Australia Could Renew 2022 Bid After Fresh Corruption Claims

02/06/2014 07:58 BST | Updated 02/06/2014 08:00 BST

The Australian football association could resurrect its bid to host the 2022 World Cup after it confirmed it is "heavily involved" in investigating claims of corruption in Qatar's successful bid.

Fifa's decision to award the Gulf State the 2022 finals is looking increasingly unjustifiable after The Sunday Times said it had seen a cache of documents which exposed that Qatar's victory was sealed by a covert campaign by disgraced former football official Mohamed bin Hammam.

Pressure has been mounting for a re-run of the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup and Football Federation Australia's chief executive David Gallop told local media they have been involved in interviews and the production of documents.

qatar world cup

Qatar were awarded the status of host nation in December 2010

"We need to get more information about what's been revealed in the last 48 hours," he told SEN radio in Melbourne. "But don't be under any illusion that we haven't been heavily involved in all of this for some time now.

"We've been involved in interviews, production of documents and also following carefully what's been happening away from Australia - so we've got people that have been involved for some time now."

The Sunday Times said Bin Hammam, a former Qatari vice-president of world football's governing body, Fifa, used secret slush funds to make dozens of payments totalling more than $5 million to senior football officials to create a groundswell of support for Qatar's bid.

It said he used 10 slush funds controlled by his private company and cash handouts to make dozens of payments of up to $200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of African football associations who held sway over how the continent's four executive members would vote.

Greg Dyke, chairman of the Football Association, told Channel 4 News: "Some of this evidence on the face of it is quite compelling.

mohamed bin hammam

The Sunday Times' investigation said Bin Hammam "acted like God"

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

Shadow international development secretary Jim Murphy called for the decision to be "cancelled and re-run" if the allegations were found to be true.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics: "I think the Qatar decision has always been controversial of course, but sometimes it was seen by the Qataris as sour grapes from the English or others across Britain.

"But if these allegations and the contents of the emails that The Sunday Times now has turn out to be true there can be no question about this."

Sports minister Helen Grant said: "These appear to be very serious allegations. It is essential that major sporting events are awarded in an open, fair and transparent manner."

Clive Efford, Labour's shadow sport minister, said: "This issue calls the governance of football into question. No one will have any confidence in a Fifa investigation run by (Fifa president) 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."

John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said: "My committee examined allegations two years ago that there had been corrupt payments involved in the decision, and we called for a full, transparent investigation.

"However, since then, Fifa have attempted to brush off the allegations and not taken them anything like sufficiently seriously. If these revelations in the Sunday Times prove to be correct they are obviously extremely serious.

"There does need to be an urgent and full transparent investigation to establish the facts."

qatar world cup fifa

Blatter's position has been described as "untenable" following The Sunday Times' report

Whittingdale said Blatter's position was "almost untenable" as he had been very dismissive of the allegations over the past couple of years and did not appear to have taken them seriously.

Blatter actually admitted last month it was a mistake to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee said it had always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the 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."

However, Qatar 2022 bid chairman, Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, was quoted as saying in 2010 Bin Hammam was the bid’s "biggest asset".

The Qatar Bid Committee added it was co-operating fully with the ongoing investigation of Fifa's Michael Garcia and remained totally confident that any objective inquiry would conclude it won the bid to host the World Cup fairly.

It added: "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 into 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."