• Fifa official says Qatar may lose World Cup if corruption evidence is found
  • The bidding for the 2018 and 2022 is under investigation
  • Speculation on future of tournaments has increased following Fifa president’s decision to step down

The head of Fifa’s audit and compliance committee has said Qatar could lose football’s 2022 World Cup if evidence of bribery is found.

Speaking to Swiss newspaper Sonntagzeitung, Domenico Scala said that: “Should there be evidence that the awards to Qatar and Russia came only because of bought votes, then the awards could be cancelled.”

Russia is the host of the 2018 World Cup.

There has been growing speculation about Russia and Qatar losing the right to host the 2018 and 2022 events following Sepp Blatter’s announcement during a televised speech that he will step down as Fifa chairman on 2 June.

Qatar quickly hit back at suggestions by England Football Association chairman Greg Dyke that the Gulf country may lose the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.

“Mr Dyke’s instinct to immediately focus on stripping Qatar of the World Cup speaks volumes on his views concerning what will be the first Fifa World Cup to take place in the Middle East,” said a statement from Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani, president of the Qatar Football Association. “Having already cooperated fully with Mr Garcia’s investigation and having been subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing, we welcome the Office of the Swiss Attorney General conducting its own work into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.”

The suggestions first came in a TV interview with Dyke on BBC. He said: “If I was in Qatar right now, I would not be feeling very comfortable.”

Blatter’s decision to step down comes just days after he was re-elected as president of Fifa. It also comes as the body faces fresh allegations of corruption from the US.

On 27 May, authorities in Switzerland arrested Fifa officials on corruption charges on behalf of the US. On 2 June, Fifa’s secretary-general, Jerome Valcke, was named by US media as the person responsible for a $10m transfer of funds cited in a US indictment. After his address on 2 June, the New York Times reported that Blatter himself was now under investigation as part of the same inquiry.

Qatar secured the rights to host the 2022 World Cup in 2010. Since then, it has been the source of persistent controversy over the past five years, with repeat allegations of corruption and the abuse of migrant workers.

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