Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce says he would support a re-vote to find a new host for the Qatar World Cup in 2022 if corruption allegations can be proven. The Sunday Times alleges Fifa officials accepted payments totalling £3m in return for support of the Qatari bid.
Fifa’s chief investigator Michael Garcia is already conducting a long-running inquiry into the allegations.
“I would have no problem if the recommendation was for a re-vote,” Boyce told BBC Radio 5 live. “If Garcia reports that wrongdoing happened for the 2022 vote then it has to be looked at very seriously,” Boyce told 5 live’s Sportsweek programme.
“The Fifa executive committee are 100% behind Garcia,” he continued. “He will be allowed to go and speak to anyone from around the world to complete his mission. All evidence should go to him and we will then await a full report on his findings.”
The allegations of corruption centre on former Fifa official Mohammed bin Hammam, with the Sunday Times claiming to have obtained millions of secret documents that implicate the former Asian Football Confederation president in corrupting members of football’s governing body to win the 2022 World Cup.
The newspaper alleges the documents, seen by BBC sports editor David Bond, show that Bin Hammam, 65, was lobbying on his country’s behalf at least a year before the decision to award the country hosting rights.
They also allegedly show he had also made payments into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations and accounts controlled by the Trinidadian Jack Warner, a former vice-president of Fifa.
Qatar 2022 and Bin Hammam have always strenuously denied any wrongdoing and that he actively lobbied on their behalf in the run-up to the vote in December 2010.
When approached by the Sunday Times to respond to their fresh claims of obtaining secret documents, Bin Hammam’s son Hamad Al Abdulla declined to comment on his behalf.
Bin Hammam has previously been at the centre of controversy in the football world. He was initially banned from the sport for life in July 2011 after being found guilty of attempted bribery over votes in that year’s Fifa presidential election.
However his ban was annulled a year later by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which said there was insufficient evidence to support the punishment.
Fifa issued him with a second life ban in December 2012 for “conflicts of interest” while he was president of the Asian Football Confederation.
In March 2014, the Daily Telegraph reported a company owned by Bin Hammam had paid Warner and his family more than £1m. Payments were claimed to have been made shortly after Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar insists Bin Hammam never had any official role supporting the bid and always acted independently from the Qatar 2022 campaign.
Garcia is already conducting his inquiry into allegations of corruption and wrongdoing during the 2018 and 2022 decisions. He is due to meet senior officials from the Qatar 2022 organising committee in Oman on Monday.