07222017

David Cameron: England could bid to host World Cup in wake of Qatar scandal – Telegraph.co.uk

Speaking in Newark, Nottinghamshire, he said: “I’ll always remember
Beckham saying to me afterwards, I can cope with being lied to, but I can’t
cope with people lying to the Prime Minister and the future king.

“Anyway we’ll see what happens with this inquiry into the World Cup and who
knows what the chances may be for the future.

“There is an inquiry under way quite rightly into what happened in terms
of the World Cup bid for 2022. I think we should let that inquiry take place
rather than prejudge it.”

The decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia was taken at the same time
as Fifa officials voted to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said Qatar should be stripped of the
World Cup if the “shocking” allegations are proven.

He said: “These are shocking allegations about the bidding process for
2022 World Cup. If proven true, FIFA must rerun the contest fairly and
openly.”

It comes after Mohammed Bin Hammam, the former president of the Asian Football
Confederation, is accused of masterminding the Qatari bid, and showering
gifts and money on football officials around the world.

He has been accused of channelling tens of thousands of pounds to the
presidents of small football associations in Africa over several years. Many
of the payments were made shortly before the Fifa vote in 2010, leading some
to claim that executive committee members could have felt pressured into
voting for Qatar.

Along with the payments, football officials received all-expenses paid trips
to top hotels and gifts including cars.

Issa Hayatou, Africa’s most senior football official, denied allegations of
corruption and said there had been a “smear campaign” against him.

A statement issued for Mr Hayatou, who ran for president of Fifa in 2002 but
was defeated by Sepp Blatter, read: “Mr Hayatou will not allow journalists
once again to attack his integrity and reputation.

“Such allegations are meant to discredit not only him as a person but the
whole continent.”

Senior figures in football and politics lined up to condemn Fifa’s management
of the World Cup. This year’s event opens in Brazil next week.

The Telegraph has previously disclosed that a senior Fifa official and his
family were paid almost $2 million (£1.2million) from a Qatari firm
controlled by Mr Bin Hammam, shortly after the decision to award the
tournament to the country.

Lord MacDonald of River Glaven, the former director of public prosecutions,
called Fifa a “cesspit” following the disclosures and suggested that a “very
serious crime” might have been committed. He added: “The fact that the
allegation is that they used dollars, means that the Justice Department in
Washington has jurisdiction over this … the United States of course are in
the World Cup finals.

“If the Justice Department started to take an interest in this, I think
Fifa would feel the heat very, very quickly.”

Anna Soubry, the defence minister, said someone has to get a “seriousgrip” on
Fifa, and Nicky Morgan, the financial secretary to the Treasury, said it was
“galling” that countries that play by the rules might have lost out to
“money talking”.

Gary Lineker, the former England footballer, said Fifa should rerun the
contest for the 2022 tournament.

Clive Efford, the shadow sports minister, called on Mr Blatter to resign. “The
question has to be asked whether anyone has any faith in a Fifa run by Sepp
Blatter?” he said.

The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee said it had always upheld the highest standard of
ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the World Cup. It said in
a statement: “In regard to the latest allegations from The Sunday Times, we
say again that Mohamed Bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in
Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee. As was the case with every other member of
Fifa’s executive committee, our bid team had to convince Mr Bin Hammam of
the merits of our bid.”

It said it was cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation of Mr Garcia
and remained totally confident that any objective inquiry would conclude it
won the bid to host the World Cup fairly.

It added: “Following today’s newspaper articles, we vehemently deny all
allegations of wrongdoing. We will take whatever steps are necessary to
defend the integrity of Qatar’s bid and our lawyers are looking into this
matter.

“The right to host the tournament was won because it was the best bid and
because it is time for the Middle East to host its first Fifa World Cup.”

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