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Tue 1 Dec 2015 08:05 PM

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FA chief says 'significant doubt' remains over Qatar 2022

Greg Dyke claims the award of World Cup hosting rights to Gulf state was 'worst moment in FIFA's history'

FA chief says 'significant doubt' remains over Qatar 2022
English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke.

Significant doubt remains over whether Qatar will actually host the 2022 World Cup, according to English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke.

Dyke also branded the award of the World Cup hosting rights to the Gulf state five years on "the worst moment in FIFA's history" in comments made to Press Association Sport.

The vote by FIFA's executive committee on 2 December, 2010 awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Since then there have been accusations that FIFA members were paid or given incentives to vote for Qatar, and earlier this year the Swiss attorney general launched an investigation into the bidding process for both the tournaments.

Dyke was quoted as saying: "The truth is that I suspect it was the worst moment in FIFA's history and that it will be living with the consequences for at least another seven years.

"If the Swiss criminal investigation demonstrates that there was corruption then there still has to be doubt about whether the World Cup will be in Qatar. I personally still don't think it is certain.

"If the investigations going on by the Swiss authorities and the FBI demonstrate there were financial irregularities then a lot of people will be pushing for the 2022 World Cup to be re-bid."

He added: "If you look back now there was absolutely no legitimate reason for awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, therefore immediately everyone thinks something else must have been going on."

His comments follow on from claims that labour abuse remains "rampant" in Qatar despite some reforms introduced since the Gulf state won the right to organise the World Cup.

In a statement released before the anniversary of Qatar winning host status for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Amnesty International said Qatar's "kafala", or work-sponsorship system, puts foreign workers at the mercy of their employers. Foreigners account for 94 percent of Qatar's work force.

Qatar's Labour Ministry declined to comment on the statement, which described recent amendments to labour laws as just "tinkering".

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