VOTING to rehouse the 2022 World Cup should be held if allegations that £3m changed hands in order to secure votes for Qatar to be named host nation can be proven, Jim Boyce, the vice-president of world governing body Fifa, said yesterday.
It has been claimed former Fifa executive committee member and president of the Asian Football Confederation Mohamed bin Hammam made payments to 30 African football officials, as well as former North, Central American and Caribbean Association president Jack Warner, in order to seek their support before the gulf state was confirmed as host nation in December 2010.
Qatar beat off competition from United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea and its World Cup organising committee last night confirmed they were seeking legal advice following the allegations, vehemently denying any wrongdoing.
Boyce, 70, believes that if Fifa ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia – conducting an investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments – determines the initial bidding process had been influenced, then a re-vote should be conducted.
“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,” said Boyce, who succeeded Warner in 2011 when he resigned following allegations of corruption.
“If Garcia’s report comes up and his recommendations are that wrongdoing happened for that vote for the 2022 World Cup, I certainly, as a member of the executive committee, would have absolutely no problem whatsoever if the recommendation was for a re-vote.”
There is no precedent for a nation to be stripped of hosting a World Cup and the English Football Association last night would not be drawn on whether they could enter a potential new bidding process, having not been involved originally.