UK & World News
Qatar Committee Rejects World Cup Bribe Claims
The committee which ran Qatar's successful campaign to host the 2022 World Cup has denied any wrongdoing after new reports of corruption in the bidding process.
The Sunday Times claimed Mohamed Bin Hammam, a former Fifa executive member for Qatar, made payments totalling $5m (£2.98m) to football bosses to secure support for the bid.
But the committee said: "We vehemently deny all allegations of wrongdoing", adding it won the right to hold the 2022 football tournament "because it was the best bid".
It said Mr Bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in the committee.
And it added it was co-operating fully with the ongoing investigation of Fifa's Michael Garcia and remained totally confident that any objective inquiry would conclude it won the bid to host the World Cup fairly.
FA chairman Greg Dyke said the allegations were "very serious" and if proved to be true then the bidding process should be re-run.
He told Sky News: "If there's a proper investigation and that investigation says there was corruption involved...then obviously there will have to be a re-vote."
A Fifa vice-president has told Sky News that if evidence of corruption in Qatar's bid is found then a re-vote would have to be considered.
Jim Boyce told Sky News: "I have absolutely no doubt that if there's concrete evidence being supplied by Mr Garcia (Fifa's chief investigator) to Fifa and to the executive committee then it's got to be taken very seriously and I hope the right decision would be made at that time."
The paper claims Mr Bin Hammam used 10 slush funds to pay cash to football officials in order to create a "groundswell" of support for Qatar's campaign.
Millions of emails and other documents relating to the payments were obtained by the newspaper.
Mr Bin Hamman also allegedly hosted lavish junkets for African officials at which he handed out almost $400,000 in cash.
It is also alleged he paid $1.6m (£950,000) into bank accounts controlled by Jack Warner, the former vice president of Fifa, some $450,000 (£268,000) of which was paid before the vote for the World Cup.
The newspaper said Mr Bin Hammam declined to respond when asked about the claims.
Speaking on Sky's Murnaghan programme, a former director of public prosecutions said there could be criminal proceedings.
Ken MacDonald said: "This is evidence of very serious crime and the fact that the allegation is that they used dollars, US dollars, means that the Justice Department in Washington has jurisdiction over this.
"If the Justice Department started to take an interest in this then I think Fifa would feel the heat very very quickly."
Mr Bin Hammam was banned for life from football administration by Fifa's ethics committee shortly after a failed campaign for the presidency in 2011.
In 2010, he was among the 22 people who decided to award the World Cup to Qatar.
The decision provoked widespread condemnation, and concerns about the safety of players, who will play in extreme heat.