England ‘ready to host 2022 World Cup’

London, June 4 (IANS) England is ready to host the 2022 football World Cup if it is taken away from Qatar in the wake of corruption and bribery allegations in FIFA, British culture secretary John Whittingdale said on Thursday.

Whittingdale spoke about England’s chances of hosting the tournament to Members of Parliaments (MPs) at the House of Commons. At least nine top FIFA officials have been accused of racketeering and corruption by US authorities.

The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments is under scrutiny under a Swiss investigation looking at claims of possible corruption.

Whittingdale was confident that England possesses the facilities to replace Qatar if asked by FIFA.

“I think as the chairman of the English FA (Greg Dyke) observed, if Russia hosts the World Cup in 2018 it does seem very unlikely that another European country would host it in 2022,” He was quoted as saying by bbc.com.

“But obviously if FIFA came forward and asked us to consider hosting it, we have the facilities in this country and, of course, we did mount a very impressive, if unsuccessful, bid to host the 2018 World Cup.”

England posted an eventual failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup, only to lose out to Russia.

Whittingdale said the country has the facilities and its unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 Cup is a testimony to their hosting capabilities for the 2022 edition of tournament.

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