Qatar 2022: Fifa set to probe officials over World Cup claims

Qatari officials will be questioned by Fifa investigator Michael Garcia on Wednesday in the wake of damaging claims about the legality of the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup, the BBC reports.

The Sunday Times alleges Mohamed bin Hammam, a former vice-president of football’s world governing body, paid US$5m  in total to football officials in return for support of Qatar’s winning bid.

The Qatari bid committee “vehemently” denies the claims and insist Bin Hammam never actively lobbied on its behalf.

Garcia, an American lawyer, announced earlier this week that his investigation into the bidding process for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup would conclude on 9 June.

He said he would file his final report to Fifa’s independent adjudicatory committee six weeks later.

Russia won the right to stage the 2018 World Cup, while Qatar saw off Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to win the vote for the 2022 tournament.

The Sunday Times claims Bin Hammam, who is from Qatar, controlled a $5m slush fund that he used to buy the support of key officials for his country’s World Cup bid.

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