Qatar World Cup 2022: Gifts and free trips for Fifa officials come under scrutiny as bid process investigation nears conclusion

Fifa investigator Michael Garcia has said he will conclude his probe into alleged corruption by 9 June

Reports of cash payments, luxury gifts and all-expenses-paid trips for Fifa officials are coming under increasing scrutiny in the wake of a World Cup bid alleged corruption scandal that threatens to put Qatar’s place as 2022 tournament hosts in question.

The results of an investigation by the consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were published online last night by the Sunday Times, and according to the newspaper highlighted payments to a string of senior officials, including Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

The report also draws attention to what it says is a series of payments from the Asian Football Confederation, purportedly on behalf of its then-president Mohamed bin Hammam – the man accused by the Sunday Times of paying £3 million in bribes to secure Qatar the 2022 World Cup.

As well as highlighting a $1 billion (£600 million) rights deal awarded by the confederation allegedly without the contract going to tender.

According to The Times, the report states: “However, no direct evidence has been identified to confirm a link between the payments…and the awarding of the [rights agreement].”

The PwC report also apparently detailed expenditure on shirts worth $1,983 said to have been made to Mr Blatter, and suits worth $4,950 to Issa Hayatou, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

There was no suggestion that the payments were related to the recent controversy over the 2022 World Cup bid. Mr Blatter has denied Fifa is a corrupt organisation, and said as recently as last month that the decision to host the 2022 tournament in Qatar was a “mistake”, reinforcing the widely-held view that he did not vote for the country in 2010.

In the wake of the Sunday Times allegations, CAF issued a statement on behalf of Mr Hayatou which branded claims he had received “valuable gifts” and been “greatly pampered” as “fanciful”. It said the president had “never received any money from Mr Bin Hammam, the Emir of Qatar or any member of the Qatar 2022 bid committee”.

Read more: Fifa investigation into World Cup vote 'ignoring the new evidence', critics claim
Now Australia’s bid could face ethics investigators
Uefa president Michel Platini says ‘corruption scandal’ claims are an attempt to tarnish his image
Voices: For failing to keep his Haus in order, Sepp Blatter must be booted out of Fifa

Meanwhile, Fifa’s chief investigator Michael Garcia was reportedly looking into claims that some of the officials involved in awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar were given free, all-expenses-paid trips to the country, according to the Telegraph.

The newspaper said several executive members for Fifa – who until very recent reforms were responsible for choosing the tournament hosts, joined the trip complete with pre-loaded credit cards shortly before the crucial vote was held in 2010.

Mr Garcia, a senior partner at a law firm in New York and who worked as a counter-terrorism prosecutor for the US President George W Bush.

He has been investigating possible irregularities around the bidding process for the 2018 tournament, awarded to Russia, and the 2022 World Cup for the past two years.

In a statement, Mr Garcia said the probe will consider “all evidence potentially related to the bidding process”, and that he expected to conclude his investigation by 9 June – just days before the start of this year’s tournament in Brazil.

A report of his findings will not be submitted to Fifa’s adjudicatory chamber until later in July, however.

The Qatar bid team said it “vehemently denies all allegations of wrong-doing” in the wake of recent reports, and that it was cooperating fully with Mr Garcia’s investigation.

“The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World,” a statement read.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
i100
Life and Style
tech

Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments

Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
i100
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

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor