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Platini: FIFA must re-vote if corruption proven

UEFA President Michel Platini.

PARIS — Michel Platini thinks FIFA must hold another vote for the 2022 World Cup if corruption allegations against Qatar’s winning bid are proven.

The UEFA president told sports newspaper L’Equipe that he doesn’t regret his own vote for Qatar and still thinks the Gulf nation “was the right choice for FIFA and for world soccer.”

“But if instances of corruption are proved, there will need to be a new vote and sanctions,” Platini said.

A FIFA prosecutor plans by next week to wrap up his investigation of the 2010 votes for Qatar and 2018 World Cup host Russia.

On a personal note, Platini claimed that “somebody, something” is plotting to discredit his possible candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

Media reports this week cast doubts on Platini’s links to now disgraced Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam. London’s Daily Telegraph alleged Platini had “a secret meeting” before the 2010 vote with Bin Hammam, suspected of vote-buying and other irregularities and whom FIFA subsequently expelled in 2012.

Platini told L’Equipe it was simply breakfast with a work colleague. Bin Hammam, like Platini, was a member of the FIFA board.

Prime Minister David Cameron dropped the strongest hint yet that Britain could offer to host the 2022 soccer World Cup if Qatar loses it, saying England would be “happy to find a home” for one of its traditional sports.

When asked at a G7 news conference in Brussels alongside US President Barack Obama whether Qatar should lose its right to hold the tournament — and if Britain would be ready to host it instead — Cameron said: “On the issue of soccer, we should let the investigation run its course. But of course England is the home of soccer, as it is the home and inventor of many sports: tennis, rugby, golf, skiing, table tennis, cricket...”

Cameron was interrupted by Obama, who quipped that baseball and basketball might not be British inventions. The British prime minister continued: “So we are always happy to find a home for these sports.”

AP, Reuters

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