Qatar 2022 World Cup bid conducted to 'highest ethical standards': Organisers

DOHA - Qatar's 2022 World Cup organisers said on Friday their controversial bid was conducted "with integrity and to the highest ethical standards" following allegations of widescale corruption within FIFA, world football's governing body.

A statement from Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which oversees the planning of the World Cup in the Gulf state, also read: "We wish to reiterate that we have fully complied with every investigation that has been initiated concerning the 2018/2022 bidding process and we will continue to do so." It added: "Our aim through hosting the FIFA World Cup is to utilise the positive power of sport to unify people and demonstrate the passion for football in our region to a global audience.

"We share FIFA's vision that football has a unique power to unite." It is the first official statement by Qatar since the dawn arrests some 48 hours earlier of seven FIFA officials in their Zurich hotel, prompting the most serious crisis faced by football's governing body.

Those arrested officials now face extradition to the United States where they are accused of allegedly accepting bribes worth tens of millions of dollars.

Following the arrests, Swiss investigators separately announced they are looking into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

This ensured that, once again, the spotlight was shone on tiny Qatar's controversial hosting of football's premier tournament in seven years' time.

Qatar's bid has consistently faced accusations of corruption as well as human rights concerns over treatment of labourers building stadiums and other World Cup infrastructure in the Gulf.

Qatar's statement was released at almost the same time the FIFA congress to elect a new president got under way on Friday in Zurich.