June 4, 2015 / 9:54 AM / 4 years ago

Britain sees 'very strong' case for re-running World Cup bids if process corrupt - sports minister

John Whittingdale arrives at 10 Downing Street as Britain's re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron names his new cabinet, in central London, Britain, May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - There is a “very strong” case for re-running bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups if it is proved that the process of awarding the tournaments was corrupt, Britain’s sports minister John Whittingdale said on Thursday.

“We wait to see the outcome of the investigations. If there is evidence that the bid process was corrupt then I think the case for re-running it is very strong,” he told parliament.

Whittingdale, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said that if Qatar were stripped of the 2022 World Cup it would be unlikely to be held in Europe.

But if England was asked to consider hosting, it had the facilities.

An FBI investigation of bribery and corruption at FIFA includes scrutiny of how football’s governing body awarded the two tournaments to Russia and Qatar, a U.S. law enforcement official said on Wednesday.

Swiss prosecutors have also announced a criminal inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 bids.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by John Stonestreet

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