Sydney: An Australian senator has urged the federal government to ask for a refund from FIFA of the $46 million spent on the failed bid to host the 2022 World Cup, saying the bid could not succeed because of corruption within football's world governing body.
Independent Sen. Nick Xenophon released a statement on Monday, under the heading "Red Card for FIFA," saying "not one more cent" should be spent on any further World Cup bids until the corruption scandal is resolved.
Former English Football Association chief David Triesman had alleged several FIFA executive committee members sought inducements in return for their votes during the concurrent bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. FIFA is currently assessing those claims.
FIFA executive committee members Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner were suspended on Sunday while an investigation is made into further allegations that they offered bribes in return for supporting Hammam in the FIFA presidential election. Hammam on Sunday withdrew from the presidential race, three days before the vote was due to be held in Zurich.
Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, was instrumental in delivering the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, but had denied there was any wrongdoing in connection with the bid.
"The fact that corruption appears to be so pervasive in FIFA makes you wonder whether we should continue to invest millions of dollars in bids for events we'll never even be in the running to win," Senator Xenophon said.
"Until the investigation into FIFA has been completed, Australia must hold off spending any more taxpayers' money on any future World Cup bids."
Xenophon added that "it appears corrupt and highly questionable behavior goes to the core of FIFA."