Football

Published: Friday March 21, 2014 MYT 6:52:05 AM
Updated: Friday March 21, 2014 MYT 6:53:43 AM

FIFA committee members interviewed by ethics chief

ZURICH (Reuters) - Members of FIFA's executive committee are being interviewed by ethics chief Michael Garcia, who is investigating the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

"We can confirm that the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee is currently in Zurich and is also interviewing some of the FIFA Executive Members as part of his on-going work," FIFA said in a statement.

The hosting rights for the two tournaments were both awarded December 2010. Thirteen members of the executive committee who made the decision, including FIFA president Sepp Blatter, remain while nine have left.

Those who have departed include Mohamed Bin Hammam, subsequently banned for life over a cash-for-votes scandal in the run-up to the 2011 FIFA presidential election, and Jack Warner, who resigned after being placed under investigation.

Russia defeated bids from England, Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal while Qatar won the race ahead of Japan, South Korea, Australia and the United States.

Garcia, a former U.S. Attorney in New York, is examining allegations of corruption in the voting that led to the awarding of the two World Cups.

He said in October that he planned to visit all the countries involved in the bidding process.

FIFA has subsequently launched a consultation process to discuss whether to switch the 2022 World Cup away from the scorching Qatari summer.

Qatar's preparations have also been hit by controversy over the treatment of migrant workers in the country's construction industry.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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