Five years to the day since Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has described the infamous votes as “the worst moment in FIFA’s history”.
The vote by FIFA’s executive committee on December 2, 2010 awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. The decion to award the tournament to Qatar in particular has been plagued with controversy, amid claims that Fifa members were paid or given incentives to vote for the Arab country
Earlier this year the Swiss attorney general launched an investigation into the bidding process for both tournaments. Both countries have denied any wrongdoing but Dyke believes Qatar could still lose the tournament.
Dyke told Press Association Sport: “The truth is that I suspect it was the worst moment in FIFA’s history and that we will be living with the consequences for at least another seven years.
“If the Swiss criminal investigation demonstrates that there was corruption then there still has to be doubt about whether the World Cup will be in Qatar. I personally still don’t think it is certain.
“If the investigations going on by the Swiss authorities and the FBI demonstrate there were financial irregularities then a lot of people will be pushing for the 2022 World Cup to be re-bid.”
Meanwhile, five major sponsors have written an open letter calling for “independent oversight” of reforms of Fifa.
The letter from Adidas, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Visa and Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch states: “We are aware of the positive work that the reform committee has been doing on governance reform, but we still believe any reforms should be subject to independent oversight. It has also become clear to us that such independent oversight needs to run long-term through the implementation and evolution of the reform process. We encourage you to become champions of this independent oversight as it will only enhance FIFA’s credibility.”