Fifa chief must resign, say Brits

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The British public belives Qatar must not be allowed to host the World Cup in 2022, following allegations that its top football official paid millions of dollars to African counterparts.

62% of the public say Qatar should be stripped of the right to hold the World Cup and 65% say Sepp Blatter should resign.

But most people are unsurprised by alleged Fifa corruption

The YouGov survey results come in the wake of the Sunday Times expose unveiling secret emails, letters and bank transfers. The newspaper alleges the documents prove Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam paid £3m to officials to support Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup. It says Bin Hammam’s year-long strategy was to pay for a bloc of support, which would then influence the four African committee members who could take part in the election to decide where the competition is held.

The new YouGov survey found that that 77% of British people, and 90% of football fans, think the decision to hold the world cup in Qatar was influenced by bribery and corruption, while a mere 4% think this is false.

According to the survey, 62% overall and 77% of those interested in football say that Qatar should be stripped of the right to hold the World Cup, while only 10% say it should not.

The majority of the public (72% overall and 84% of football fans) say the allegations are predictable – ‘Fifa is a corrupt organisation that has just been caught out’. Only 8% think the blame lies more with Qatar than Fifa.

Fifa’s vice-president Jim Boyce has said he would support a re-vote to find a new host for the 2022 competition if corruption is proven

Fifa president Sepp Blatter faced calls to resign after he admitted the decision to award Qatar the World Cup, despite it reaching 50 degrees in summer, was a mistake, and politically motivated in part.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said on Twitter: “These are shocking allegations about the bidding process for 2022 World Cup. If proven true, FIFA must rerun the contest fairly and openly.”

Anna Soubry, the defence minister, said someone has to get a “serious grip” on Fifa, and Nicky Morgan, the financial secretary to the Treasury, said it was “galling” that countries that play by the rules might have lost out to “money talking”.

Gary Lineker, the former England footballer, said Fifa should rerun the contest for the 2022 tournament.

 

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