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Japan ex-FIFA member welcomes Qatar probe

12 June 2014, 10:41

Tokyo - A Japanese former member of FIFA's executive committee has said most senior figures in the scandal-hit organisation want the truth over claims of corruption in awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Junji Ogura, who was on the top committee of world football's governing body from 2002 to 2011, told Kyodo News in Sao Paulo that detailed allegations over the payment of huge bribes were a good thing.

"There are a lot of people in the executive committee who feel that way, and it's why things are being investigated," Ogura, the Japan Football Association's honorary president, told Kyodo News.

"Maybe we feel that way because Japan doesn't operate like that. We're entitled to find out what really went on because it's what's right," he said.

Britain's Sunday Times has published a series of reports alleging that millions of dollars in backhanders were paid to help Qatar secure the 2022 World Cup.

The reports, which the Times says are based on millions of documents, come after years of rumour and speculation that under-the-table deals were done to give the tournament to a sweltering desert state with little footballing culture.

Qatar beat the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea to the 2022 tournament, despite a FIFA technical report which warned the searing temperatures during June and July posed a health risk.

Five of FIFA's six biggest commercial partners -- Adidas, Sony, Visa, Coca-Cola and Hyundai -- have demanded an investigation of claims that Qatari official Mohammed bin Hammam paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure the tiny Gulf state's victory.

Ogura, who served concurrently with now-disgraced bin Hammam, said most members of the current executive committee welcome the spotlight being put on FIFA.

"If it's made clear what is allowed and what isn't allowed, then people will stop doing these things. Everything ought to come to light -- in black and white," he said.

"I personally think there's something seriously wrong when a story that says Hammam was involved in such money transactions comes out," he said.

"We don't know what Hammam did; we don't know all the details," he added. "But if people are saying there's the evidence, then it ought to be presented."



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