Qatar accusations puts Fifa under pressure

Britain lined up as 2022 World Cup venue as football body faces demand for new investigation into Qatar's winning bin

FIFA president Joseph Blatter opens the envelope to reveal that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich on December 2, 2010. Qatar became the first Arab, Middle Eastern or Muslim country to be awarded the right to stage football's World Cup. AFP PHOTO/KARIM JAAFAR / AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFAR
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Fifa was scrambling to hold the line under Qatar's 2022 World Cup on Monday as politicians and sport administrators called on the governing body to reopen investigations into dirty tricks allegations.

Legal pressure on the Swiss-based organisation centres on the need to revive the two-year inquiry that cleared Qatar of allegations of corruption during the bidding for the tournament. It only released the results of the inquiry, led by the American lawyer Michael Garcia, last month.

It is unclear if the evidence of an operation to produce fake propaganda about rivals, reported by the Sunday Times, was presented to Mr Gracia's team.

Officials said the new allegations were serious enough to strip the rights from Qatar.

“Absolutely they could switch this,” Mark Palios, the former Football Association chief executive, told the BBC.

Sepp Blatter, the disgraced former Fifa boss, added to its woes by tweeting that the use of a "black-ops" public relations campaign was not the only serious allegation facing the 2022 bid.

“Bad news: Qatar accused of denigration of other bidders. Fact is Qatar won after a political intervention by the former French President Sarkozy to FIFA Vie-President Platini,” he tweeted.

Criminal investigations into corruption in Fifa by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations have so far treated the organisation as a victim of its own officials under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Rica).

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However lawyers believe a failure to pursue the new claims by the whistleblower who has exposed the campaign orchestrated by the firm Brown Lloyd Jones, could flip the legal view of Fifa into conspirator.

Nasser al-Khelaifi, the Qatari president of Paris St.-Germain and head of BEIN sports, was named last year in a US court as the potential buyer of an Argentina firm at the centre of bribery allegations paid under the code “Q2022”, a reference to Qatar's 2022 bid.