Qatar World Cup 2022 ‘revote’: Now Australia’s bid could face ethics investigators as Fifa rocked by corruption allegations

Reports from Australia suggest their bid could also be part of lawyer Michael Garcia's probe

With Qatar’s position as hosts of the 2022 World Cup in jeopardy and Fifa rocked by the latest string of corruption allegations, reports have now emerged suggesting the Australian bid to win the same tournament has also been the subject of a recent probe.

There have been calls from senior figures in football around the world to have the process opened up to a revote if reports in the Sunday Times – that Fifa officials took a total of £3 million in exchange for backing Qatar’s bid – prove to be accurate.

Australian soccer chief David Gallop has been among the latest figures to wade into the controversy, and today refused to rule out the possibility of his country re-entering the competition to host the event if Qatar is stripped of the role.

But if it does, Football Federation Australia (FFA) may face its own set of questions over the bidding strategy it used before the decision was made back in 2010.

According to reports from The Age, Fifa’s ethics investigator Michael Garcia has recently flown a former FFA employee out to the US to question her confidentially about Australia’s conduct.

Bonita Mersiades, who was the association’s corporate affairs manager at the time of the bid, told The Age that the Australian association has previously tried to avoid exposing “international development” grants the FFA allegedly gave to overseas football bodies in the run up to the 2010 vote.

The Age reported that the FFA made a $462,000 (£276,000) payment to the allegedly-corrupt former Fifa executive Jack Warner – who, according to the Sunday Times, also received money from Qatar’s Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Ms Mersiades is reported to have said: “The revelations in The Sunday Times 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.”

Speaking about the broader Fifa investigation on Monday, the FFA’s Mr Gallop said: “We’ve been heavily involved in this now for many months in terms of the investigation that Mr Garcia is carrying out.” The Age did not carry a response from the FFA to its latest report, and the association was not immediately available for comment.

Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (left) and Fifa President Sepp Blatter pose with the World Cup after the Qatar announcement in 2010 Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (left) and Fifa President Sepp Blatter pose with the World Cup after the Qatar announcement in 2010 Meanwhile, Mr Garcia is due to meet with Qatari representatives tonight in Oman, where the under-fire bid team has said it will “take whatever steps are necessary to defend the integrity of Qatar’s bid.

Yesterday Fifa’s vice-president Jim Boyce said Mr Garcia’s investigation, which predates the Sunday Times revelations, has his and the governing body’s “100 per cent” backing, and that if it was decided a revote was needed he would support it.

The Allegations

In the investigation by The Sunday Times, the newspaper claims to have obtained millions of secret documents from a Fifa insider that suggest the decision to grant Qatar the 2022 World Cup was influenced by payments made by disgraced former Fifa vice-president Mohammed Bin Hammam.

According to the Sunday Times report, the secret documents show a campaign of corruption, which saw Hammam pay out millions of pounds in order to secure support for the Qatari bid from Football Associations across the world.

Fifa executive committee members, government ministers and football associations have denied any wrongdoing.

Bin Hammam, who was previously the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, was removed from Fifa after it was alleged he had used money to influence votes during his campaign to become Fifa President in 2011.

The paper also claims that another benefactor of Bin Hammam’s campaigning is the controversial former Chief of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association Jack Warner. Warner has denied these claims saying that they are “baseless allegations based on innuendoes” and said the money he received from Bin Hammam was to help with losses suffered during an earthquake in China.

According to The Sunday Times, they have evidence that Warner had more than $1.6m funnelled into his accounts by Bin Hammam, including $450,000 for his vote.

The Qatar bidding committee has always strenuously denied that Bin Hammam actively lobbied on their behalf in the lead up to the vote in December 2010.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
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

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition