The FBI’s investigation surrounding FIFA has now expanded to include the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, according to reports.

The review would be part of a probe that goes beyond the allegations of bribery in a US indictment of FIFA officials announced a week ago, an official told Reuters news agency.

FIFA, global football’s governing body, awarded the hosting rights to these countries in 2010 but there have been calls to strip both hosts of the World Cup.

Nine FIFA officials and five business executives were indicted by the US last Wednesday on corruption charges, with seven arrested in Zurich ahead of FIFA’s annual congress on Friday.

In a separate investigation, Swiss authorities had confirmed that they were looking into the bidding process for both tournaments.

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Qatar’s foreign minister, however, remained confident that the tournament will not be taken away from the Gulf Arab state.

“It’s very difficult for some to digest that an Arab Islamic country has this tournament,” Khaled al-Attiyah said on Wednesday.

“No way Qatar can be stripped [of it]. We’re confident and deserve to win it because we presented the best file.”

Greg Dyke, chairman of England’s Football Association, had raised the possibility that the vote that awarded Qatar the tournament could be rerun.

“If I was the Qatari organisers, I wouldn’t sleep very well tonight,” he told British media on Tuesday.


READ ALSO: Fifa officials arrested in bribes probe

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