FIFA medical chief Michel D’Hooghe says there will be no re-vote on the host nation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 finals but that decision has come under scrutiny amid claims of corruption in the bidding process. However, D’Hooghe who was one of the FIFA executive committee members who voted, has refuted claims of corruption made in The Daily Telegraph last month.
The newspaper claimed to have evidence suggesting former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and members of his family, received bribes worth $2million from a firm controlled by a former Qatari football official,
However, D’Hooghe insists that he was not aware of any impropriety during the voting process.
“Absolutely not. I had no feeling anything was going on then and I still have no feeling that there was corruption during this vote,” he told the Evening Standard. “The voting took place in absolute religious silence, like a conclave to elect the Pope.
“Everybody had to give in his mobile on entering the room. I have done so many elections. There was not much difference with the earlier ones.”
Such an admission, given FIFA’s chequered past, hardly inspires confidence in the integrity of the votes that took place in December 2010.
Belgian D’Hooghe feels there is an element of “sour grapes” in the reaction of the British press, with England having lost out to Russia in their bid to host in 2018.
“There will be absolutely no re-vote,” he added. “Some in the English press want that. But it’s not the English press that decide.
“For the British press, whatever we do is never enough. And the feeling in FIFA is that all this British criticism is partly sour grapes.
“In football you win and you lose. If England feel they have not had a World Cup since 1966, then Belgium has never had the World Cup.
“England must not complain. They just had the Olympics (in 2012) and organised it fantastically.”