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.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

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

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