DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg has joined the clamour for a re-run of the vote to stage the 2022 World Cup if claims that Qatar’s winning bid was aided by bribes are proved true.
Clegg’s demand came after the Sunday Times reported it had uncovered millions of emails alleging illicit payments, and on the day that the American lawyer appointed by world governing body Fifa to investigate the bidding process, Michael Garcia, said his report was almost complete.
Liberal Democrat leader Clegg said on Twitter: “These are shocking allegations about the bidding process for 2022 World Cup. If proven true, Fifa must rerun the contest fairly and openly.”
His comments echo those of Football Association chairman Greg Dyke and Northern Irish current Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce.
Prime Minister David Cameron called for patience while Garcia completes his long-awaited probe, saying: “We should let that inquiry take place rather than prejudge it.”
Qatar 2022 organisers have denied wrongdoing regarding the bid, distanced themselves from former Fifa executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam, who is alleged to have tried to buy votes, and pledged to co-operate with Garcia’s investigation.
Garcia plans to complete his probe by Monday and submit it to Fifa “approximately six weeks later”, in late July, he said yesterday.
He added: “The report will consider all evidence potentially related to the bidding process, including evidence collected from prior investigations.”
It is expected that Garcia had access to the material uncovered by the Sunday Times before its publication at the weekend. He is also looking into the 2018 World Cup bidding process, in which Russia beat England, among others.