Fifa keeps mum on Qatar

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iol spt pic QaTAR wolr dcup june 02 REUTERS Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani (L) holds up a copy of the World Cup he received from FIFA President Sepp Blatter (R) after the announcement that Qatar is going to be host nation for the FIFA World Cup 2022, in Zurich. File Photo: Christian Hartmann

Rio de Janeiro - Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke on Monday refused to comment on fresh allegations of corruption surrounding the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Fifa earlier announced its probe into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host bids would be completed by June 9 as the corruption row over Qatar's controversial winning bid intensified.

But Valcke had nothing to add to that as he attended the launching of the World Cup international broadcast centre (IBC) in Rio, waving away media requests for information.

“No answer, no question,” he said as the clock ticked down to the June 12 kickoff of this year's World Cup.

Qatar has denied allegations by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that Mohamed bin Hammam, a former Fifa vice president from Qatar, paid more than $5 million to football officials around the world before the 2010 vote that awarded the 2022 contest to the Gulf state.

Qatar has vowed to “defend the integrity” of its bid.

In March Valcke said he backed the commission being chaired by former United States attorney Michael J. Garcia investigating the choices of Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter, who was later Monday meeting Brazil President Dilma Rousseff for the presentation of the World Cup trophy in Brasilia, said last month it was a “mistake” to choose Qatar to host the World Cup in the summertime.

During his stop IBC visit Valcke paused briefly to buy an ice cream sundae. Asked by AFP how it tasted, Valcke replied: “That's a question you can ask. It's good.”

Blatter and Valcke will attend the Fifa Congress on Sao Paulo on June 10 and 11 immediately prior to the opening match in the city between Brazil and Croatia.

Sapa-AFP


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