Will A Blossoming Corruption Scandal Tarnish Football’s Biggest Event?

World soccer’s governing body, FIFA, is facing new allegations of corruption over its contentious decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper recently revealed it had evidence that a Qatari football official spent $5 million in bribes to FIFA officials in exchange for their support for the country’s bid to host the event.

Qatar has denied the allegations, but an inquiry has been launched into the bidding process. If any wrongdoing is uncovered, Qatar could be stripped of the right to host the World Cup and a re-vote would have to take place.

British investigative reporter Andrew Jennings — who is best known for his work uncovering corruption in FIFA and the International Olympic Committee — says he is not surprised by the fresh allegations.

In a recent interview, he says that FIFA has the same level of corruption as organized crime.

Qatar Hayatou Corruption Allegations

(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

Confederation of African Football President Issa Hayatou, right, speaks as FIFA President Sepp Blatter, left, looks on during a joint press conference in Libreville, Gabon, in this Feb. 10, 2012 file photo. FIFA vice president and African football head Issa Hayatou denied allegations Sunday June 1, 2014 made against him by British newspaper The Sunday Times that he received favors for voting for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. In a statement late Sunday night, the Confederation of African Football called the corruption allegations against its president “fanciful” and “ridiculous.”