Australian Government Considers Legal Action Over 'Futile' World Cup Bid
Australia's government "will consider legal action" to recoup more than A$40M ($37M) "wasted on Australia's futile bid to host the 2022 football World Cup, won by oil-rich Qatar on the back of alleged systematic bribery," according to Proszenko & Aston of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Minister for Sport Peter Dutton said the government would ''consider options'' to claw back the money after reports that Qatari officials "showered cash on football officials across the globe to secure the hosting rights in a landslide." Australian Football Federation Chair Frank Lowy has demanded that FIFA return the money, while former Soccer Australia CEO David Hill has said that "the Rudd government was 'mad' to risk public funds 'when everybody knew the process was crook.'" Dutton said that "the government would wait for the results of FIFA's independent investigation" into the allegations football officials pocketed up to $5M in cash, as well as lavish gifts and free travel from former FIFA VP and Qatari national Mohamed bin Hammam. Dutton said, "I think it's one step at a time and the first step is to wait and see ... what the world body does. And then I think we can consider options" (SMH, 6/13).