Qatar should be stripped of 2022 World Cup if votes were bought, claims MP Damian Collins

QATAR should be stripped of the 2022 World Cup if it is proved votes were bought, claims MP Damian Collins.

Former Uefa president and Fifa vice-president Michel Platini could be held in custody just outside Paris for another 24 hours after his arrest yesterday.

Former UEFA president Michel Platini Fifa vice-president was arrested as part of a criminal probe into Qatar World Cup bid
EPA
Damian Collins wants Qatar stripped of World Cup if votes were bought
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He was quizzed by French cops as part of a criminal probe into the Qatari bid.

Collins, chair of the DCMS Select Committee which has pressed for a full investigation into the controversial 2010 decision to award the finals to the Gulf state, says the issue is not going away.

He told SunSport: “It could barely be more serious than for a former Uefa president to be arrested as part of a criminal investigation into the World Cup bidding process.

“If there is evidence of wrongdoing, then it should prompt a wider, thorough investigation into the decision to award Qatar the World Cup.

“If it’s proven the rules were broken by Qatar, then they have to consider all appropriate sanctions, including moving the tournament.

“What has to be proven for Qatar to lose the World Cup is that votes were bought.

“Monsieur Platini will have to answer the questions put to him by the authorities. But it shows this investigation has not gone away.”

PLATINI VOTED FOR QATAR BUT DENIES WRONGDOING

Platini’s lawyer issued a statement denying his client had been arrested and insisted the French midfield legend had been interviewed as a witness and had no reason “to reproach himself”.

Platini has never denied voting for the Qatar bid but always refuted any wrongdoing.

The financial prosecutor’s office in France has been investigating the decision since 2016.

French authorities also detained Sophie Dion, an ex-adviser of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and questioned his then chief of staff Claude Gueant.

Their focus is on various high-level meetings and what promises were made, in particular, a lunch at the Elysee Palace on November 23, 2010 — ten days before the Fifa vote — attended by Sarkozy, Platini and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The French probe is in addition to a Fifa-initiated investigation run by the Swiss Attorney General.

That centres on allegations of bribery in connection with the 2022 World Cup bid AND the ongoing inquiry by America’s Department of Justice into various types of corruption in football.

Collins added: “At the moment we don’t know what precisely is being looked at in these three investigations.

“But if we get to the point where people are being charged with criminal offences and there are pending court cases, that’s an extremely serious matter.”

Sepp Blatter back in 2010 reveals Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup
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