German soccer federation president Theo Zwanziger, who will shortly replace Franz Beckenbauer on the FIFA executive committee, became the most prominent official yet to call for a re-examination of the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar over bribery allegations.
"I think there is a significant degree of suspicion that one cannot just dismiss," Zwanziger told ZDF television. "And that is why I reckon that the awarding of this World Cup must be re-examined with regard to these concerns. I do not want to comment on how that might happen until I know more about the matter. I am an outsider and not a member of the executive committee."
Qatar 2022 World Cup organizers on Monday "categorically denied" any wrongdoing, after claims by suspended FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke that the Arab country "bought" the 2022 hosting rights.
Zwanzinger's statement goes very much against German business interests. Reuters presented a detailed report outlining the German companies who worked on the Qatar bid and the German construction companies that will benefit for the billions of dollars to be spent on building stadiums, hotels and transportation systems for 2022. Deutsch Bahn has a $20 billion contract to build a rail system in Doha.