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FIFA’s chief investigator will interview members about Qatar World Cup vote

Mar 19, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT


FIFA’s leading investigator Michael Garcia is set to interview 12 members of the executive committee who voted in favor of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup.

The move comes after reports on Tuesday linked former vice-president Jack Warner with receiving millions of dollars from a Qatari company, owned by Qatar’s FIFA executive Mohamed Bin Hammam, just days after FIFA’s executive committee decided to hand the tiny Arabic nation the showpiece tournament. Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organizing committee has defended its bid and stated it adhered strictly to all the correct regulations.

Only 12 of the current 24 members who voted back in 2010 are still on the board, including President Sepp Blatter, with many resigning while under investigation or being banned from the exec. committee altogether.

Following these serious allegations surrounding former FIFA executives, the fact that world’s soccer governing body is now stepping in, years after the fact, seems a little bizarre. But at least they are taking it seriously. We hope. We’ve seen multiple cases and allegations of corruption, bribery and wrongdoings at the very top of the game, which needs to be dealt with swiftly and with maximum severity. In their defense, FIFA have been extremely busy bunnies trying to sort all this out. Sadly both internal and external investigations into their daily workings have been commonplace for some time.

(MORE: Qatar World Cup scandal: Reports of former Fifa vice-president paid millions by Qatari firm)

Many soccer fans around the world are calling for a re-vote in the 2010 vote to have the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and then in Qatar four years later. Will we see that happen? I doubt it.

FIFA have gone too far down the line with preparations in both countries to call it off now, but if they did… the United States of America, England, Australia and Germany have all been touted as countries who can host a tournament of that scale at the drop of a hat. That is another debate we’ve had time and time again.

Safe to say, the outcome of this investigation is crucial as to the where the 2022 World Cup will be held. Stay tuned.

  1. delegator - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    To paraphrase Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that corruption is going on in FIFA!

  2. mikeevergreen - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    If Qatar loses this, it won’t be directly due to this investigation, as this investigation got started due to slave labor allegations in Qatar to begin with. It’s a face-saver, for FIFA.

    That having been said, if I’m Sunil Gulati, I’m lining up my stadia now, and to be honest, I don’t seen a problem holding the final at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium. It holds 107,000, and at 3,200 feet altitude, not as warm as other spots for a day game, which the final would be. A great tribute to Walter Bahr, the longtime Penn State soccer coach and member of the 1950 US World Cup team. It was his shot that deflected off of Joe Gaetjans into the net agianst England.

    • jabdu3 - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      Only problem with Beaver Stadium, and State College in general, is that it is in the middle of nowhere. No major airport for the teams and fans to come in at, very little in terms of hotels and lodging, and the town itself would probably be overwhelmed by the influx of people. The most likely place for the final would be the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, FedEx Field outside of DC, or Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. If it did go to a college stadium, it would probably go to Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor because it holds a bit under 110,000 and is within an hour of Detroit.

  3. geojock - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    I dont care about FIFA investigation, I want to know if any laws were broken with any countries involved.

  4. chunkala - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Corruption in a 4th world country? You don’t say!

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