Qatar should be deprived from the hosting rights of 2022 World Cup

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Damian Collins, an MP, said that the small Gulf country should be stripped of the 2022 World Cup if it is proved votes were bought .

After being arrested yesterday, Michel Platini, the former Uefa president and Fifa vice-president, was released this morning. He was quizzed by French cops as part of a criminal probe into the Qatari bid.

Platini said later: "It hurts. It hurts for everything I can think of, everything I've done..... But after all, they did their job and then we tried to answer all the questions. It was long, but given the number of questions it could not be different".

But Damian Collins, the DCMS Select Committee's head who has pressed for a full investigation into the controversial 2010 decision to award the finals to Qatar, says the issue is not going away. He stated: "It could barely be more serious than for a former Uefa president to be arrested as part of a criminal investigation into the World Cup bidding process. If there is evidence of wrongdoing, then it should prompt a wider, thorough investigation into the decision to award Qatar the World Cup".

Collins added: "If it’s proven the rules were broken by Qatar, then they have to consider all appropriate sanctions, including moving the tournament. What has to be proven for Qatar to lose the World Cup is that votes were bought. Platini will have to answer the questions put to him by the authorities. But it shows this investigation has not gone away". 

Collins continued: "At the moment we don’t know what precisely is being looked at in these investigations. But if we get to the point where people are being charged with criminal offences and there are pending court cases, that’s an extremely serious matter".

Platini denied his client had been arrested and insisted the French midfield legend had been interviewed as a witness. Platini has never denied voting for the Qatar bid but always refuted any wrongdoing.

France's authorites arrested Sophie Dion, an ex-adviser of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and questioned his then chief of staff Claude Gueant. its focus is on various meetings and what promises were made, in particular, a lunch at the Elysee Palace on November 23, 2010 — ten days before the Fifa vote — attended by Sarkozy, Platini and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The French probe is run by the Swiss Attorney General. That centres on allegations of bribery in connection with the 2022 World Cup bid and the ongoing inquiry by America’s Department of Justice into various types of corruption in football.

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