Qatar 2022: World Cup bid committee deny any wrongdoing and insist latest investigation into alleged payments will prove they won the World Cup fairly

Reports that a Sunday newspaper gained access to millions of emails that are said to show evidence of payments in return of votes has led to the bid committee releasing a statement to deny the claims

Qatar 2022 World Cup bid chiefs have insisted they took part in no wrongdoing during the campaign for the tournament.

It comes after The Sunday Times reported that it has gained access to millions of emails and documents which have highlighted payments made by disgraced former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam.

The newspaper claims the documents show Bin Hammam made payments to football officials as part of a campaign to win support for Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid.

In a statement, the bid committee said Bin Hammam had no association with them and that it was co-operating with the ongoing investigation led by FIFA's chief investigator Michael Garcia, who is due to meet officials from the Qatar bid in Oman next week.

"The Qatar 2022 bid committee always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup," the statement said.

"In regard to the latest allegations from The Sunday Times, we say again that Mohamed Bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in Qatar's 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 co-operating fully with Mr Garcia's ongoing investigation and remain totally confident that any objective enquiry will conclude we won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup fairly.

"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 in to 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."

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke claims FIFA must re-run the vote for the 2022 World Cup if allegations of corruption are proven.

Dyke told Channel 4 News: "Some of this evidence on the face of it is quite compelling.

"If the evidence is there, that the process is corrupt, then obviously the process has to be looked at again."

In a separate interview with BBC Sport, Dyke added: "I think if it is shown it was a corrupt system and that the people who won used bribes and other influences to get the vote, then of course it has got to be done again."

Bin Hammam was banned for life by FIFA's ethics committee for "conflicts of interest". Sources with connections to Bin Hammam insist he was not part of the Qatar bid team and was already building his power-base ahead of a challenge for the FIFA presidency.

According to The Sunday Times, he authorised payments into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations and accounts controlled by the Trinidadian Jack Warner, a former vice-president of FIFA.

FIFA did not respond to emails asking it to comment.

PA

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