sport

Warner slams FBI report

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has called the latest allegations against him "foolishness" and claimed there is a witch-hunt against Qatar.

Warner spoke out following a report the FBI is investigating payments from a company owned by Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam to Warner and his family. Both men left FIFA in disgrace following a 2011 corruption scandal.

Qatar 2022 World Cup chiefs have reacted to the latest claims by insisting they adhered to all FIFA's rules.

Warner himself, currently a politician in Trinidad, said in a statement to Press Association Sport: "I have no interest in joining in the foolishness that is now passing as news on Qatar and Jack Warner.

"Nor do I intend to join those who are on a witch-hunt against the World Cup 2022 venue. And do consider this as my final comment on this matter."

Warner and Bin Hammam's FIFA careers ended in disgrace after they were caught up in a corruption scandal surrounding Bin Hammam's campaign for the presidency of the world governing body in 2011.

Qatar's 2022 World Cup organising committee said in a statement: "The 2022 bid committee strictly adhered to FIFA's bidding regulations in compliance with their code of ethics.

"The supreme committee for delivery and legacy and the individuals involved in the 2022 bid committee are unaware of any allegations surrounding business dealings between private individuals."

FIFA said it had no comment to make on the matter.

A statement added: "In principle, any evidence of potential wrongdoing can be submitted to the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee of FIFA for further investigation."

But an MP who is campaigning for reform of the world governing body said FIFA should rerun the bid for the 2022 World Cup if an FBI investigation proves corrupt payments were made in connection with the vote.

Damian Collins, who used Parliamentary privilege in 2011 to state allegations that two FIFA members had been paid to vote for Qatar 2022, said: "If the FBI investigation can prove that corrupt payments were made to FIFA executives in connection to the decision to award that country the World Cup, they should lose the right to host the tournament and the competition to stage World Cup 2022 should be rerun.

"These reports will only fuel concerns that the decision to award Qatar the World Cup was made for money reasons, not sporting ones, and that's wrong."