Qatar 2022: Too late to move World Cup despite new US indictment, says leading UK sports lawyer

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A leading UK sports lawyer believes it is probably too late for the Qatar 2022 World Cup to be moved to a new host country.

Richard Cramer’s comments come after new documents were released on Tuesday claiming former FIFA executive committee members were either offered or received bribes in return for votes.

  • Fresh bribe claims over World Cup in Qatar

The 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments were jointly awarded by FIFA in December 2010 in Zurich.

US investigations into corruption at the heart of FIFA’s awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 tournament to Qatar allege bribes were taken in return for votes to host the World Cup.

In the latest twist, US authorities revealed a new indictment at the US District Court earlier this week.

Cramer told Sky Sports News: “The last thing FIFA needed was bad news. They can’t ignore this though because it is real. If they brush this under the carpet it would be an injustice.

“If the allegations were just against Russia (who hosted the 2018 World Cup) the current FIFA would maybe be able to say ‘it’s not our problem’ as that was the old FIFA which has been cleaned up now.

“FIFA has done a good job of cleaning up its act, but it’s not just Russia, it’s Qatar. There have always been doubts surrounding Qatar in 2022, but it is probably too late to change it now.”

Cramer believes the latest allegations put in front of the US courts suggest unfinished business by the authorities in the United States.

“Why abandon it? Firstly it sends out a powerful message that corruption cannot be tolerated, secondly there must always be due process with a criminal trial,” he said.

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