Platini accepts need for re-vote if Qatar allegations are proven

The UEFA chief says FIFA should be forced to backtrack if an investigation uncovers wrongdoing during bidding for the 2022 World Cup.
UEFA chief Michel Platini believes a re-vote is essential if allegations of corruption relating to Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup are proven.

Platini, who is also a Fifa vice president, was among those who voted for Qatar in 2010 when the nation won the rights to host the 22nd World Cup.

However, a report in The Sunday Times claimed Mohamed Bin Hammam, a former president of the Asian Football Confederation, made payments to FIFA officials totalling 5 million euros in order to obtain support in the run-up to the Qatari bid. 

Those allegations have been strongly denied by Qatar's bid committee, which said it "upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity" throughout the process. While Platini claims to have "no regrets" over supporting Qatar's bid, he acknowledges that strong action is necessary should a probe by FIFA chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia uncover wrongdoing.

"I think it was the right choice for FIFA and world football," Platini told L'Equipe in relation to Qatar being awarded the event in eight years' time. "But if corruption is proven, there will need to be a new vote and sanctions."

Platini's links with Bin Hammam have also been questioned after it emerged the two met prior to the 2010 vote.

"I saw this colleague 10,000 times in 15 years," Platini added. "Why would I have had a secret meeting with him? I now realize that in the background there is somebody, something, people organizing all this. I can feel it.

"But I think there are lots of interests at stake, for people at FIFA, for people who want to go there and for people who are hoping to be there one day. And no doubt there are also interests of some parties who sell and buy TV rights who want to review the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. I seem to be the person who is upsetting them."

Platini insists the controversy will not impact his possible candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

"When I am under attack, I become much stronger and more determined. But that won't affect my decision. I said I would make an announcement after the World Cup and I will stick to that," he added.