3 Jun 2014

Fate of Qatar World Cup to be known in weeks

6:43 pm on 3 June 2014

The fate of the 2022 football World Cup could be decided within weeks after the official leading the internal investigation into how Qatar won the right to host it announced the probe would be complete by next week.

The former US prosecutor Michael Garcia appears to hold the future of Qatar's multi-billion dollar World Cup bid in his hands after new allegations of bribery led calls for the tournament to be moved if corruption is proved.

In a statement, he set out a timetable that would see him file a report just after this year's World Cup ends in Brazil.

Garcia, who heads an investigative committee for world football governing body FIFA, was in the Middle East, where he was expected to meet Qatar officials as part of the investigation.

He declined further comment on the inquiry, saying he was restrained by ethics.

The chair of the English football association Greg Dyke says a new vote should take place if it's shown corruption lead to Qatar being awarded the tournament.

Qatar has strongly denied reports in Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that bribes were paid to officials to bring the sporting world's biggest global event to the Gulf emirate, where temperatures during the summer when the tournament is played can soar above 50 degrees.

The allegations of corruption at the heart of football's governing body threaten to overshadow the run-up to the four-yearly World Cup, which begins in 10 days in Brazil.