RIO DE JANEIRO — Fifa president Sepp Blatter is ready to launch a probe that could strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup.
Allegations of bribery and the safety fears of playing in 50-degree heat have dogged Fifa since December’s controversial vote to give the World Cup to a desert state the size of Wales.
Qatar’s Mohammed Bin Hammam — Blatter’s rival for the Presidency until he was suspended in May — was booted out of Fifa over the corruption charges last week.
And now Blatter revealed he is prepared to sanction an investigation into Qatar’s win which would open the way to the decision being rescinded and a new host for the tournament being found.
Blatter believes his new “Solutions Committee”, which will include Johan Cruyff, Henry Kissinger and Palcido Domingo, will prove he is serious about cleaning up the game and he said: “Now, at this moment, we are not touching the Qatar World Cup.
“But we are going step by step into the matters we have to realise and if somewhere through this Solutions Committee they should say we have to have a look at that, then we will do that.”
Germany’s newly-elected Fifa executive committee member Theo Zwanziger and major sponsors Adidas have suggested the 2022 decision should be reopened and Blatter added: “When I spoke with Zwanziger he realised it’s too easy to say we should reopen things.
“He knows he has to first come to Fifa with the evidence and everybody must produce evidence.
“Concerning the sponsors, I haven’t received any let’s say, reservations, made by any sponsor of Fifa that we should change anything with Qatar – yet.”