Inside Lines: We can host World Cup says US as bribery row escalates

 

The United States is on standby to stage the 2022 World Cup should the ongoing controversies about alleged corruption, climate and the treatment of migrant workers force Fifa to strip Qatar of the tournament.

"We certainly would be happy to hold it here and have a lot of big stadiums that could turn it around and host at short notice," the Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber tells us in the wake of revelations of bribery allegations involving former Fifa executive Jack Warner and his Qatari colleague Mohamed bin Hammam, now being investigated by Fifa's ethics committee.

Bin Hammam was banned from football for life in 2011 after it was discovered he attempted to buy votes during his Fifa presidential campaign while Warner, the former Concacaf president from Trinidad and Tobago, resigned in the same year. Both deny any wrongdoing but the situation escalates the case against Qatar.

The US lost out to oil and gas rich Qatar, per capita the world's wealthiest nation, in the race for 2022, and there is lingering bitterness. Garber adds that the bribery row is "going to get a lot more legs and if more comes out, who knows what happens?"

Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who said he is "not a prophet" when asked if Qatar could lose the World Cup, is to make another visit there later this year to monitor progress on the issue of workers' rights. Labour unions and rights groups have been campaigning to highlight unsafe conditions, unpaid salaries and contracts tying workers to their employer during work being carried out on building infrastructure and stadiums for the tournament.

A source close to the original Qatar bid committee has predicted to The Independent on Sunday that both Fifa and Qatar will "ride with the punches" over the bribery issue, but admits the event has been bruised by reports of mass deaths and mistreatment of migrant workers. "Human rights is the one thing that could cause Fifa to have second thoughts."

Farah up for gong

Britain's Mo Farah could be named as World Sportsman of the Year in Wednesday's annual Oscars, the Laureus Awards, though he will not be attending the event in Kuala Lumpur, inevitably overshadowed in the Malaysian capital by the tragedy of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Instead he will be in Kenya recovering from his dramatic collapse in the New York City half-marathon last weekend and preparing for his London Marathon debut on 13 April. He will start as bookies' favourite despite never having attempted the distance before, aiming to break the 19-year-old British record of 2hr 8min 16sec set by Steve Jones.

Farah is short-listed alongside Usain Bolt, Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sebastian Vettel and US basketball's LeBron James. Golfer Justin Rose (World Breakthrough of the Year) and BMX star Jamie Bestwick (World Action Sportsperson) are the only other Brits nominated for gongs at the ceremony to be hosted by TV's Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Tiresome Fury

Tyson Fury was at it again last week, giving his now tediously infamous impression of a foul-mouthed lout, turning over tables and spitting expletives in a blatant attempt to sell tickets for his return fight with Dereck Chisora on 26 July.

Fury, the self-proclaimed "best heavyweight on the planet", has twice been heavily fined and warned about his conduct by the Board of Control, but in his own parlance "doesn't give a shit." No doubt they'll slap his wrist again, seemingly impotent to impose the sort of ban he would receive in any other sport because of the huge money involved in the upcoming affray in Manchester.

A rant-free domestic dust-up worth watching on BoxNation next Saturday is the battle for the IBF bantamweight belt in Newcastle, Stuey Hall makes his initial defence against fellow north-easterner Martin Ward.

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
healthMeet the volunteer users helping to see if the banned drug can help cure depression and addiction
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Life and Style
tech
News
i100
News
Foo Fighters lead man Dave Grohl talks about the band's forthcoming HBO documentary series
people
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Direct Mail Machine Operative

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an i...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Day In a Page

Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The officials are caught in the web of US legal imperialism - where double standards don't get in the way

Caught in the web of legal imperialism

The Fifa officials ensnared by America's extraterritorial authority are only the latest examples of this fearsome power, says Rupert Cornwell
Bruce Robinson: Creator of Withnail and I on his new book about Jack the Ripper

'Jack the Ripper has accrued a heroic aura. But I'm going after the bastard'

The deaths of London prostitutes are commonly pinned on a toff in a top hat. But Bruce Robinson, creator of Withnail and I, has a new theory about the killer's identity
Simon Stephens interview: The playwright on red-blooded rehearsals, disappointing his children - and why plays are like turtles

Simon Stephens interview

The playwright on red-blooded rehearsals, disappointing his children - and why plays are like turtles
Holidaying with a bike nut: Cycling obsessive Rob Penn convinces his wife to saddle up

Holidaying with a bike nut

Cycling obsessive Rob Penn convinces his wife to saddle up
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef pays homage to South-east Asia's palate-refreshing desserts

Bill Granger's fruity Asian desserts

Our chef's refreshing desserts are a perfect ending to a spicy, soy-rich meal
Fifa presidential election: What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison