thumbnail Hello,

FFA chief David Gallop claims the national governing body have been making preparations to pounce on a potential void if Qatar are stripped of the right to host the tournament

Australian Football Federation (FFA) boss David Gallop says Australia is working behind the scenes to make sure it is a leading contender to host the 2022 World Cup should it be shifted from Qatar.

Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce re-opened the possibility of the gulf nation being stripped of hosting rights overnight by declaring he would be in favour of a re-vote should allegations of corruption be proven via an investigation led by Fifa ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia.

Qatari organisers have "vehemently" denied accusations their successful bid was corrupt, saying lawyers were looking into the latest source of the claims - The Sunday Times newspaper.

Greg Dyke, the chairman of the English FA, has called for a re-vote if the allegations are proved to be correct, while former England international Gary Lineker labelled Australia as the "best" choice for 2022.
 
Gallop said the fact the eastern seaboard is hosting the Asian Cup next year meant infrastructure would largely be in place, and that Australia was more than capable of preparing for a World Cup at short notice.

"It's too early to tell whether that opens the door in terms of Australia's position but it's a bit of a watch-this-space at this stage," Gallop told SEN on Monday.

"I think it's a serious development, they are serious allegations and we are looking to see what the response to that will be.

"We would have to make a decision, but we are not at that stage just yet. We need to get more information about what's taken place in the past 48 hours."

But he admitted FFA staff had been working behind the scenes to make certain Australia was considered a major player if there was a re-vote.

"We have been heavily involved in this for months, in terms of what Mr Garcia has been investigating," Gallop said.

"We have been involved in interviews, production of documents and also following carefully what's been happening overseas for quite some time now.

"I'm sure when we are in Brazil for FIFA congress etc we will find out more information."

The Sunday Times claimed it had obtained numerous documents which it says show former Fifa executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar made payments totalling around €3.7 million [£3m] to football officials in return for votes.

Related

From the web