Qatar 2022: Fifa investigation into World Cup vote 'ignoring the new evidence', critics claim - News & Comment - Football - The Independent

Qatar 2022: Fifa investigation into World Cup vote 'ignoring the new evidence', critics claim

 

Fifa was accused on Monday night of conducting a selective investigation into allegations of widespread corruption surrounding Qatar’s successful bid to stage the 2022 World Cup – after it emerged that the official inquiry will be completed within days.

Michael Garcia, the former US attorney appointed to head the semi-independent investigatory chamber of Fifa’s ethics committee, said he would finish his report by Monday, submitting it to Fifa around six weeks later.

The Sunday Times, which published a swathe of allegation based on millions of Fifa documents over the weekend, claimed Mr Garcia’s team was ignoring the new evidence. It is possible, however, that Mr Garcia had already obtained much of the information.

Heidi Blake, one of the journalists involved in the Sunday Times investigation, tweeted: “They hadn’t even read our articles, let alone asked to see #FifaFiles. Now inquiry cut short to exclude them.”

In a further twist to the 2022 World Cup bid scandal, it emerged that the investigation overseen by Mr Garcia has questioned members of the defeated Australian bid team over its spending.

Australia bid alongside Qatar, the US, South Korea and Japan for the right to host the 2022 finals, One of the witnesses reportedly flown to New York to meet Mr Garcia, Bonita Mersiades, a former corporate affairs manager for Football Federation Australia (FFA), told Australian media there were “parallels” between how the Australian bid spent some of its money and the allegations levelled against Mohamed Bin Hammam, Qatar’s former vice-president of Fifa.

Mr Garcia released a statement on Monday following a long-scheduled meeting with Qatari 2022 officials in Oman. It said: “After months of interviewing witnesses and gathering materials, we intend to complete that phase of our investigation by 9 June 9 2014, and to submit a report to the adjudicatory chamber approximately six weeks thereafter.

Read more: Blatter must be booted out of Fifa

“The report will consider all evidence potentially related to the bidding process, including evidence collected from prior investigations.”

The latest allegations surround Bin Hammam and claims he made payments of some £3m in cash and gifts to officials around the world to smooth the path for his country’s bid. Bin Hammam, banned from football in 2011 over claims he bribed officials to support his campaign to become Fifa president, was not part of the bid team and Qatari officials have denied all allegations of impropriety.

The vote of Fifa’s executive committee to decide the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 finals was taken at the same time and was surrounded by a swirl of corruption allegations. That Mr Garcia’s investigation is looking beyond Qatar comes as little surprise to those involved with the bidding process from its outset. “We’ve been heavily involved in this now for many months in terms of the investigation that Mr Garcia is carrying out,” said David Gallop, chief executive of the FFA.

Were Fifa’s ethics committee to recommend a  a new vote – an outcome that still remains unlikely despite calls for one from the likes of Greg Dyke, chairman of the FA – then Australia would have been one of the favourites given that the US, another bidder, prefers to focus on securing the 2026 finals.

Those prospects would be damaged if the allegations made by Ms Mersiades were substantiated. Ms Mersiades told the Melbourne Age: “The revelations about the way Bin Hammam used hospitality, gifts, perks, and upgrades of stadiums to win bid support has parallels with the manner in which Australia used some of its funds during its bidding campaign.”

The Australian bid has previously been linked with payments to Jack Warner, the Trinidadian who was a powerful figure on Fifa’s executive committee until he was forced out over separate corruption allegations, and Reynald Temarii, another former Fifa executive whose name consistently crops up in connection with allegations of corruption surrounding the 2022 bids.

Fifa have so far refused to comment on the reports, referring all inquiries to Mr Garcia’s office.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week