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FIFA under pressure to review World Cup bids by FBI

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into allegations of misconduct in the awarding a year ago of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

FBI investigators last month interviewed in London officials of England’s 2018 bid campaign, according to The Daily Telegraph. The paper reported that the FBI had collected “substantial evidence” documenting efforts to hack into emails of US bid executive, who alongside their colleagues from South Korea, Australia and Japan lost to Qatar.

The FBI is further looking into the charges that Mr. Bin Hammam, a Qatari national, who was closely associated with the Qatari bid, had bribed executives of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to back his failed FIFA presidential campaign earlier this year to unseat the group’s fourth time president, Sepp Blatter. The FBI bases its investigation on the grounds that the bribes may have crossed US borders.

Bin Hammam, who was dismissed as FIFA vice president and banned for life from involvement in soccer in July, following a FIFA investigation into the charges, has denied any wrong doing as has Qatar with regard to allegations of corruption in its World Cup bid campaign.

Australian soccer federation president Frank Lowy, speaking last week days after Mr. Blatter opened the door to an investigation of Qatar’s bid, said he believed that the Gulf state could be deprived of the right to host the tournament. The "last word hasn't been heard yet,'' Mr. Lowy said.

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