European lawmakers are likely to urge FIFA to re-vote on awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said in a statement that it will discuss the issue on Thursday, weeks before FIFA President Sepp Blatter stands for re-election.
The debate follows a report to the 47-nation Council of Europe in January raising concerns about “illegal payments” to help Qatar secure hosting rights.
The report, by Michael Connarty, claimed “large sums of money” paid to over 30 senior African football officials helped Qatar receive the votes it needed.
The procedure was so “fundamentally undermined by illegality” that it should be re-run using fairer procedures, the report said.The report relied on The Sunday Times evidence of emails sent by former FIFA official Mohamed bin Hammam.
The British newspaper reported last June that Bin Hammam’s cash payments totaling $5 million to soccer officials worldwide helped build support for Qatar’s bid.
The report, on the reform of football governance, also called on Qatar to respect the basic rights of foreign migrant workers and urged FIFA to encourage this process. It also addressed recommendations for improving transparency and governance to UEFA and other sports organisations.
Any PACE decision Thursday is not binding on FIFA.PACE meets four times a year for week-long plenary sessions in Strasbourg. The 318 representatives and 318 substitutes are appointed by national parliaments from among their members.
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