FIFA Chief Refuses To Speculate On Whether Qatar Could Be Stripped Of World Cup
FIFA President Sepp Blatter "has refused to speculate on whether Qatar could be stripped of the World Cup over a new round of bribery allegations, which have been referred to its ethics committee," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Blatter said he "was not a prophet" when asked whether Qatar could lose the World Cup. He confirmed that investigators from FIFA's ethics committee would look into a report in the Daily Telegraph that former FIFA exec committee member Jack Warner and his family "requested payments" of more than $2M from his Qatari colleague Mohamed bin Hammam shortly after the World Cup vote. Blatter said, "I am happy now that we have an independent committee for ethics and this is now to be dealt with by this committee." FIFA Chief Investigator Michael Garcia "is continuing to examine the chaotic and controversial bidding race for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments." He "has toured each of the bidding countries" and was in Zurich this week to interview the exec committee. In a statement, Garcia said, "The ethics committee is aware of the material in the published article. As with any allegations of misconduct by officials, the ethics committee will take whatever action it feels appropriate" (GUARDIAN, 3/21).