Qatar and Russia could lose right to host World Cup

FAI received €10m loan from Uefa in 2013, €8.5m of which remains outstanding

Double European Cup winner, Marco van Basten says that he believes FIFA is letting down both the fans and players. Video: Reuters

The man handed the task of overseeing the reform of Fifa has insisted that Russia and Qatar could lose the rights to stage their World Cups if it is confirmed that they used bribery to secure the right to stage the tournaments.

The FBI has said that its investigation into Fifa-related corruption extends to the process by which the hosts for both events were selected, but Domenico Scala, head of Fifa's audit and compliance committee, told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung: "If evidence should emerge that the awards to Qatar and Russia only came about thanks to bought votes, then the awards could be invalidated."

The revelations regarding the FAI’s finances have continued, meanwhile, with the size of the association’s borrowing from Uefa emerging over the weekend.

The European federation has confirmed that it loaned just over €10 million to the association in 2013, some €8.5 million of which is still outstanding. Once again, there was no specific identification of money in the association’s accounts.


The fact that a loan had been made was known.

In relation to a meeting with FAI chief executive John Delaney held three months earlier, Uefa's finance director Josef Koller had said in June 2013 that "it is a really difficult situation, because of the economic crisis, and we said 'Okay, we can advance certain solidarity payments.'"

The scale of the loan is, however, remarkable.

The FAI made a decidedly upbeat statement to delegates at its agm just a matter of weeks after Koller confirmed the need for the advance, and gave no hint that it exceeded €10 million.

Uefa says in its accounts that it makes such loans only in “exceptional circumstances” and the €10 million represents more than a third of the total amount outstanding to all member associations at the time.

The money was borrowed less than a year after the association had received around €12 million from Uefa, thanks to Ireland’s participation at Euro 2012, on top of solidarity payments and other grants.

Delaney was again the target of abusive chants from a section of the crowd at yesterday’s game and stewards intervened on at least one occasion to prevent banners being displayed.

José Mourinho, meanwhile, has expressed his dismay at the Fifa/FAI deal.

“This with the Irish federation, this, for me, is the end of the world,” he said.

“Unbelievable. You change the truth of the game for €5million? What next? Because more stories will come for sure.”

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times