Senior British Member of Parliament and Head of the Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee Damian Collins called for a “proper investigation” into the Qatari World Cup 2022 bid on Sunday, following a report by The Sunday Times showing evidence of the country paying firms and individuals to carry out a propaganda campaign against its bid rivals.
Collins told Sky News that it would be a “serious matter” if the allegations turned out to be true.
The Sunday Times has reported that Qatar hired firms namely to gather dirt, create controversy and release negative publicity, according to emails released to the newspaper by a whistleblower who had worked with Qatar on the World Cup campaign.
According to the leaked documents, the PR company hired by Qatar recruited journalists, bloggers and other figures to hype up negative stories, spy on rivals, produce intelligence reports on key people and create grassroots protests to discourage people from other bidding countries from supporting the hosting of the World Cup, therefore making way for Qatar to win the bid.
“I think what needs to happen now is for there to be a proper independent investigation of the allegations published in the Sunday Times,” Collins told Sky News.
Colllins added that he met with the whistleblower himself, and has seen the leaked documents and emails firsthand.
"I think these are serious matters and there needs to be a proper independent investigation of them," he told the newspaper
Collins added that this is an “opportunity to demonstrate that FIFA takes these issues much more seriously than it has done”.