FIFA: No comment on Qatar corruption claims - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

FIFA: No comment on Qatar corruption claims

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ZURICH (AP) - FIFA declined comment on Sunday about a British newspaper report that questions the integrity of choosing Qatar as 2022 World Cup host.
   
The Sunday Times said a "senior FIFA insider" was its source for "hundreds of millions of emails, accounts and other documents" detailing payments which the paper said Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam gave football officials -- allegedly to build support for the bid.
   
Bin Hammam, a key FIFA power broker until being expelled from football in 2012 for financial wrongdoing as Asian Football Confederation president, reportedly paid a total of $5 million in gifts and legal fees to executive committee colleagues and dozens of African football leaders.
   
The claims have revived calls for the 2022 World Cup vote to be re-run. Qatar defeated the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
   
FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia has received the fresh evidence to help his investigation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests, the newspaper reported.
   
FIFA has not commented on details of Garcia's work since he was appointed to the independent ethics committee two years ago.
   
Instead, football's governing body suggested in a statement to "please kindly contact the office" of Garcia's law firm in New York City.
   
The law firm, Kirkland and Ellis, did not respond immediately to requests for comment, or to confirm that Garcia will meet Qatar bid officials on Monday in Oman.
   
Qatar's World Cup organizing committee had yet to respond to requests for comment.
   
The newspaper reported that Qatari officials dismissed suggestions Bin Hammam had played a key role in its successful campaign, and denied knowledge of any payments.
   
Garcia and his investigating team have been traveling across the world meeting officials who worked for the nine candidates ahead of the December 2010 votes by FIFA's executive board. Several voters, including Bin Hammam, have since been suspended or resigned while implicated in financial corruption.
   
FIFA board member Jim Boyce, who joined in 2011 after Bin Hammam was initially suspended, said Sunday that he could support a re-vote if bribery was proved.
   
"If Garcia's report comes up and his recommendations are that wrongdoing happened for that vote for the 2022 World Cup, I certainly as a member of the executive committee would have absolutely no problem whatsoever if the recommendation was for a re-vote," Boyce told the BBC's Sportsweek radio program.
   
Garcia must submit his report to FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert of Germany, who can recommend sanctions.
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