UK & World News
Inquiry Into Qatar 2022 Set To Wrap Up In Week
Fifa's investigation into the successful bid by Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup will be completed by next Monday amid fresh corruption claims against the Gulf state.
The internal inquiry by world football's governing body, which is also looking at Russia's winning bid for 2018, will report its findings six weeks later - which would be after the World Cup in Brazil.
Organisers of Qatar 2022 were set to meet Fifa's chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia amid calls for the nation to be stripped of the tournament if corruption allegations are proven.
The expected talks in Oman come after the Sunday Times published fresh claims about payments being made to African federations to win support for the successful 2022 campaign.
The newspaper says it has seen millions of documents which show Qatar's victory was helped by a covert campaign by Mohamed Bin Hammam, a former Qatari vice-president of Fifa.
It alleged Mr Bin Hammam used secret funds to make "dozens" of payments totalling more than $5m (£2.98m) to win support for Qatar's bid.
It was also claimed he paid $1.6m (£950,000) into bank accounts controlled by Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa.
Qatar's bid committee has denied any wrongdoing and said it would "take any steps necessary" to defend the process.
Fifa's vice president and African football head Issa Hayatou has denied allegations he received free private medical treatment and other favours for backing Qatar's bid.
Prime Minister David Cameron says Mr Garcia's inquiry should be allowed to run its course.
"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 (it) take place rather than prejudge it," he said.
In a statement the Qatar 2022 bid committee insisted Mr Bin Hammam had played no role in its bid and that it was "co-operating fully with Mr Garcia's ongoing investigation".
Meanwhile, the Football Federation Australia (FFA) has revealed it has also been investigating claims of corruption in the Qatari bid.
FFA chief executive David Gallop told SEN radio in Melbourne the association has been "heavily involved" in interviews and the production of documents.
Australia was one of five countries that competed to host the 2022 World Cup along with Qatar, South Korea, the United States and Japan.
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke is among those who have called for the bidding process to be re-run if the bribery claims are shown to be true.