Qatar and Russia Could Lose World Cup if Evidence of Bribery Emerges

A FIFA compliance officer involved in the reform of the embattled football organization has claimed that Qatar and Russia may lose their right to host the World Cup should evidence of corruption emerges.

FIFA HQ in Zurich - Image from Wikimedia by MCavigliaSpeaking to a Swiss newspaper, the head of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee Domenico Scala said: “If evidence should emerge that the awards to Qatar and Russia only came about thanks to bought votes, then the awards could be invalidated.”

As yet, no such evidence has been presented.

There has been much controversy surrounding the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Last year, allegations surfaced that a Qatari billionaire had bribed FIFA officials for the hosting rights.

Later in 2014 a report compiled by American lawyer Michael Garcia, which came to be known as the Garcia Report, allegedly detailed ways in which bribery had guided the bidding process. But its publication was blocked by FIFA.

Controversy arose after a 42-page summary of the original Garcia Report, hundreds of pages long, was released by FIFA. Garcia himself announced that the summary was a gross misrepresentation of his work, containing “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions”.

Last week, FIFA president Sepp Blatter resigned just hours after evidence emerged that allegedly showed US$ 10 million had been transferred to an account controlled by FIFA’s former vice-president Jack Warner, authorized by Blatter’s deputy Jerome Valcke, from South Africa World Cup organizations.

The BBC claims to have seen an email that shows that Blatter was aware of and agreed to the transaction.