Qatar selection for World Cup under scrutiny; FIFA urged to cooperate

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

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FIFA and Sepp Blatter are under fire regarding the 2022 World Cup host selection. (Getty Images)

Qatar has not gotten much good press over the last few weeks with regard to its preparations for the 2022 World Cup, and now FIFA is being asked to cooperate in a probe to into how the country was chosen to host the event in the first place.

Anti-corruption advisers for soccer's governing body, led by Mark Pieth, have suggested that FIFA cooperate with the investigation into the 2018 [scheduled to be held in Russia] and 2022 World Cup votes.

The investigation is headed by ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia.

"The ethics committee should not rest until there is a conclusive answer," Pieth wrote in a report to FIFA board members, according to the Associated Press.

"If FIFA is to emerge from the scandals of recent years it must now produce a convincing and transparent answer to any issues relating to hosting decisions, either to confirm that the suspicions are, sadly, well founded or to demonstrate that they are groundless."

Pieth was appointed to lead the investigative governance committee advisory group in 2011 by FIFA president Sepp Blatter after the governing body was rocked with scandal.

"This explicitly included allegations in relation to World Cup hosting decisions and the IGC singled out this issue including the decision to award the tournament to Qatar as one that required further investigation," Pieth continued.

Pieth went on to say that FIFA must adhere to the investigation headed by Garcia.

"The IGC's view was that only appointing a competent and experienced professional outsider to this role would enable FIFA fearlessly to investigate allegations of corruption at the heart of FIFA," Pieth wrote. "FIFA and all involved individuals must therefore fully and unconditionally cooperate with Mr. Garcia's investigation."

According to the AP, Garcia and his team has offered anonymity to anyone who had worked with or represented any of the nation's vying for a World Cup bid in exchange for information. His report is expected by the end of the year.

Blatter has already said that Russia and Qatar will not be stripped of the World Cup, an assessment Pieth may take issue with.

"If allegations are confirmed," Pieth wrote, "FIFA must ensure that the consequences are meaningful."

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