By Staff writer
BBC's Panorama also claims Qatar has spent $176m in its bid to host the FIFA World Cup
Former Manchester United and Real Madrid star David Beckham has backed Qatar and Russia’s hosting of the FIFA World Cups, despite allegations of corruption surrounding the awarding of the events.
Both Swiss and US authorities have launched investigations into claims of corruption in the bidding process for both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, which both countries strongly deny.
The former England captain, who was part of his country’s bid to host the 2018 event, said the tournaments should be seen as bringing the game to new countries.
"Whether it's corrupt or not, those countries have been chosen. People need to get behind that,” the 40-year-old told the UK’s Radio Times magazine.
“It’s about bringing football to new countries. They should stick with it. They'll make it work.”
Beckham was also asked about FIFA, and whether the world footballing body was turning a corner, as more officials are arrested.
"No - they are just hitting the bend,” he said. “It's such a mess that it's going to take a while to sort out. For me to see the game, the way it’s been treated and looked after, is devastating. It’s disgusting.”
Last week, soccer bosses from across South and Central America were among 16 people charged with multimillion-dollar bribery schemes for marketing and broadcast rights, in a dismantling of a Latin American soccer network by US prosecutors.
Meanwhile, a BBC investigative programme has claimed that Qatar spent $176 million (£117 million) in its bid to host the 2022 World Cup, according to the Daily Mail.
A BBC Panorama documentary being shown tonight contains an interview with Lord Triesman, the former FA chairman and leader of England's 2018 bid, in which he says a British intelligence sources revealed the amount that Qatar spent successfully securing the right to host the event.
“I was told by two sources that have always been very reliable with good information, good intelligence that the sum Qatar spent on their bid was £117m,” he told Panorama.
“I take the straightforward view that it should be possible when you look at the money that people have spent to know exactly how it was spent and whether it was legitimate or not,” he added.