Qatar World Cup 2022 corruption allegations: Hyundai becomes latest major sponsor to turn up the heat on Fifa over newspaper claims

Five of the six Fifa 'partner' sponsors have now expressed concerns over allegations made in the Sunday Times

The car manufacturer Hyundai has become the latest top-tier World Cup sponsor to call for a "thorough investigation" into allegations that corruption and bribery played a part in the decision to award the hosting of the 2022 flagship tournament to Qatar.

In total, five of the six Fifa 'partner' sponsors have now expressed concerns over allegations made in the Sunday Times that the disgraced former vice president of football's governing body, Mohamed bin Hammam, paid over $5m to win support in the Qatar bidding process.

Hyundai joins Sony, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Visa in expressing concerns over the bidding process. Only the airline Emirates has so far declined to comment on the claims.

Other significant World Cup sponsors, including oil company BP and the maker of Budweiser beer, have also expressed concerns.

Hyundai/Kia said in a statement: "We are confident that Fifa is taking these allegations seriously and that the investigatory chamber of the Fifa ethics committee will conduct a thorough investigation."

 

 

The Sunday Times printed further Qatar accusations yesterday just days before Fifa's four yearly showpiece event kicks off in Brazil.

The latest reports allege that then-Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam had brokered meetings between Qatari officials and governments to discuss bilateral trade deals. Qatar has repeatedly denied that Bin Hammam was connected to its bid for the Cup.

Bin Hammam himself has so-far not commented. Fifa has already banned him for life from football over accusations he paid bribes to win votes for a bid to become Fifa president. That ban was overturned but another was imposed for conflicts of interest.

This weekend's allegations follow claims last week that Mr Bin Hammam had used a slush fund to make secret payments of $5m in the campaign to secure the right to stage football’s biggest tournament.

The decision to award the hosting of the flagship competition to Qatar, a country which experiences extreme heat during the summer months and has little footballing history, was controversial from the beginning.

Fifa's ethics committee is already in the process of investigating allegations of corruption surrounding the successful bid and is due to report back next month.

Former US prosecutor Michael Garcia, who is leading Fifa's internal investigation, will publish his report around a week after this year's World Cup final.

 

Mr Garcia, who has spent more than a year and £6m travelling the world and gathering evidence, will reportedly not consider the millions of documents that are the source of the Sunday Times' corruption claims.

"After months of interviewing witnesses and gathering materials, we intend to complete that phase of our investigation by 9 June 2014, and to submit a report to the adjudicatory chamber approximately six weeks thereafter," said Garcia.

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

Controversial Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, over the weekend used his Twitter account to call for more time to investigate the new claims.

"Never ignoring media reports on ethics allegations in football. But let the Ethics Committee work!", he tweeted.

Mohamed bin Hammam was formerly vice-president of Fifa and chief of the Asian Football Confederation Mohamed bin Hammam was formerly vice-president of Fifa and chief of the Asian Football Confederation

Vice President Jim Boyce has already publicly stated that he would support a re-vote if the allegations against Qatar were proven.

Fifa issued a statement from the body's marketing director Thierry Weil in response to the comments of sponsors.

"We are in constant contact with our Commercial Affiliates including Adidas, Sony and Visa and they have 100 percent confidence in the investigation currently being conducted by Fifa's independent Ethics Committee," Weil said.

"Our sponsors have not requested anything that is not covered by the on-going investigation by the Ethics Committee."

Payment card company Visa, which has a contract as a Fifa sponsor until 2022, said it was monitoring the progress of the Garcia investigation.

"We expect Fifa will take the appropriate actions to respond to the report and its recommendations," it said in a statement.

Japanese consumer goods company Sony took a similar line, saying said it expected the allegations to be "investigated appropriately".

Adidas, which has a sponsorship deal with Fifa that runs until 2030, said in a statement: "The negative tenor of the public debate around Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners."

Drinks firm Coca-Cola added: "Anything that detracts from the mission and ideals of the Fifa World Cup is a concern to us."

Following the most recent alleagtions Qatar's World Cup organising committee reiterated it was confident the bid had been won fairly.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
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

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits