ONE of the World Cup’s main sponsors has urged Fifa to properly investigate allegations of corruption being involved in Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 tournament.
Electrical goods manufacturer Sony, which is one of six businesses listed as a Fifa ‘partner’, putting it into the highest category of World Cup backers, has called on football’s international governing body to ensure it abides by “its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play”.
Political pressure in the UK has also continued to grow, with Labour leader Ed Miliband the latest high-profile figure to suggest the bid for the competition should be re-run if the allegations are verified.
The Sunday Times has reported it has received documents which it claims reveal that disgraced former Fifa executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam had made payments to football officials in return for votes for Qatar.
Fifa’s chief investigator Michael Garcia is assessing the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and has said that the process will conclude by tomorrow.
The American lawyer says he will submit a report in mid-July.
Qatar’s bid committee has said it “upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity” during the bidding process for the 2022 tournament.
One week on from its initial report, the Sunday Times has published further allegations regarding Bin Hammam, including claims surrounding various business meetings.
Sony told the newspaper: “As a Fifa partner, we expect these allegations to be investigated appropriately.
“We continue to expect Fifa to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations.”
Following the latest reports surrounding Qatar 2022, Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Twitter: “Never ignoring media reports on ethics allegations in football. But let the Ethics Committee work”
Bin Hammam was banned from football for life by Fifa in December 2012 over ‘’conflicts of interest’’ while president of the Asian Football Confederation. Mr Miliband said there will be an “overwhelming case” for the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup to be reopened if the allegations are proven.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said it is very important there is “international confidence” in sporting bodies and in decisions on where major sporting events are held.