CAIRO: FIFA Vice-president Jim Boyce said that he would be in favor of re-running the vote for the 2022 World Cup if the widespread bribery allegations surrounding Qatar’s bid are proven.
Boyce said FIFA’s chief investigator Michael Garcia, who is currently looking into the corruption allegations, would have to widen his investigations.
“As a member of the FIFA executive committee, we feel that any evidence whatsoever of people involved were bribed towards a certain vote and that all 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.
Ever since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, FIFA faced calls to re-run the contest as its decision was mired in controversy with serious concerns about its ability to host the world’s top football tournament.
Since the World Cup is usually held in summer, Qatar, where temperatures in the summer reaches 50 degrees, said it will develop an unprecedented cooling technology. However, after Qatar won the bid, it scrapped that plan as the cooling system was too expensive and unsustainable for the environment.
In an interview with RTS broadcaster, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said it was a “mistake” to choose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, forcing FIFA to try to limit the damage.
“The technical report into Qatar indicated it was too hot but the executive committee – with a large majority – decided all the same to play it in Qatar,” Blatter said.
Chairman of The Football Association (FA) Greg Dyke said the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup must be done again if allegations of corruption are proven.
The International Trade Union Confederation issued its report “the case against Qatar,” which reported that 1,200 workers from India and Nepal died in Qatar since it won the bid. The report also estimated that 4,000 workers, who are currently building stadiums in Qatar, could die before a ball is kicked in the 2022 World Cup.
The Guardian issued a report on the mistreatment of Nepalese workers building the city that will host the tournament in Qatar. The report accused Qatari authorities of withholding the workers’ pay, forcing them to work in heat without water, making them live in squalid camps, and confiscating their passports to keep them from leaving the country.
The Sunday Times said it has documents implicating that Qatari FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam corrupted members of FIFA in return for votes for Qatar. However, the allegations were denied by The Qatar 2022 bid committee.
According to the British newspaper, the leaks reveal that bin Hammam made payments of $5 million to the African Football Confederation (CAF) officials to secure their support for Qatar’s bid.
Head of CAF and vice-president of FIFA Issa Hayatou denied the rumors in a statement published on CAF’s website.