FIFA: No grounds to strip Russia or Qatar of World Cup
There are no legal grounds for FIFA to take the 2018 World Cup from Russian or the 2022 event from Qatar, soccer's world governing body said Monday.
FIFA's statement followed comments made to a Swiss newspaper by Domenico Scala, chief of its Compliance Committee.
Scala had said that Russia and Qatar could lose the right to host the World Cup events if evidence is presented showing that bribes bought the votes that won them the competition to host the world's biggest single-sport event.
"Should evidence be present that the awarding to Qatar and Russia only came about with bought votes, then the awarding could be void," Scala told the newspaper.
But on Monday, FIFA issued a statement calling that claim into question.
"Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups by democratic vote of the Executive Committee. Based on expert opinions and available facts, FIFA has no legal grounds to take away the hosting of the FIFA World Cup from Russia and Qatar."
"We will not speculate on possible scenarios and therefore have no further comments for the time being," the statement said.