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Bid committee members to be probed

The officials who awarded Qatar the World Cup are to be forced to justify the decision to a Fifa investigator in the coming weeks.

Michael Garcia, the ethics committee’s chief investigator, has flown to Zurich for a series of interviews as pressure grows on Fifa to re-run the bid.

The meetings follow an investigation that revealed how Fifa’s former vice president and his family were paid almost $2 million (1.2 million) from a firm linked to Qatar’s successful bid.

Details of who the executive committee decide to support are normally kept secret, but the powerful board members are expected to be questioned by Mr Garcia about the bidding process and any breach of bidding rules including collusion between bids.

Garcia, a former US district attorney, is also expected to meet the president of world football’s governing body, Sepp Blatter, during his visit.

It was disclosed this week that Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa and executive committee member, appears to have been personally paid $1.2 million (720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official, Mohamed Bin Hammam, shortly after the decision to award the country the tournament.

Payments totalling almost $750,000 were made to Warner’s sons, documents show. A further $400,000 was paid to one of his employees.

Following the revelations, senior MPs called for an inquiry into the controversial decision to award Qatar the 2022 tournament.

Last September, Garcia said his investigators would interview representatives of every bid team, and a number of officials who worked on England’s unsuccessful 2018 bid have already been questioned.

Just 13 of the 22 members who took part in the December 2010 vote are still on the committee, while the others have either retired, been banned or resigned while under investigation.