Qatar’s World Cup organizers have denied any wrongdoing over reports of bribery to secure the tournament in 2022.
A report by The Sunday Times in the UK alleged money had been paid to football officials by former Asian Football Confederation chief, Mohammed bin Hammam, in return for votes.
In the 2010 vote, the Gulf state beat off competition from Australia, United States and Japan to win the showpiece.
“Mohamed bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in Qatar’s 2022 bid committee,” said statement from the Qatar 2022 bid committee.
“As was the case with every other member of Fifa’s executive committee, our bid team had to convince Mr Bin Hammam of the merits of our bid.”
“We are cooperating fully with Mr Garcia’s (FIFA’s chief investigator) ongoing investigation and remain totally confident that any objective inquiry will conclude we won the bid to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup fairly.”
The committee also said it had instructed its legal team to look into the reports. “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.”
In quotes reported by the UK media, FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said that if evidence of corruption in Qatar’s bid is found, then a revote would have to be considered.
“I have absolutely no doubt that if there’s concrete evidence being supplied by Mr Garcia to FIFA and to the executive committee then it’s got to be taken very seriously, and I hope the right decision would be made at that time.”