Updates from Sunday, June 15
Eurosport's Staff, via Reuters, provided a statement from the Gulf Cooperation Council supporting Qatar in wake of recent allegations:
The Secretary General affirmed the GCC's...complete support in the face of all doubters and haters and everyone who is attempting to lessen (Qatar's) right to host this historic global sporting event.
Updates from Monday, June 9
Hyundai became the latest sponsor to speak out regarding the Sunday Times' allegations of corruption in connection with Qatar's successful 2022 World Cup bid.
As a partner of FIFA, Hyundai has expressed confidence that a full investigation will get to the bottom of the story, per Sky Sports' Amy Lewis:
FIFA World Cup sponsor Hyundai release statement this morning: "We are confident that FIFA is taking these allegations seriously and that...— Amy Lewis (@SkySportsAmy) June 9, 2014
...the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee will conduct a thorough investigation". #qatar— Amy Lewis (@SkySportsAmy) June 9, 2014
Budweiser also had its say, as reported by The Guardian's Owen Gibson:
Budweiser now also weighs in on Fifa: "We are concerned about the situation and we are monitoring developments." Who's next?— Owen Gibson (@owen_g) June 9, 2014
Updates from Sunday, June 8
Qatar face new allegations in the second half of the Sunday Times' expose, according to Sky Sports:
Qatar deployed its political connections and natural gas wealth to help win the 2022 World Cup, according to allegations published by the Sunday Times.
For the second week running the newspaper has published details of meetings and deals that it claims demonstrate former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam broke bid rules as he lobbied on behalf of his country's bid.
However, Sky also report that the nation has denied the charges:
Qatar re-stated the denial issued last week after the newspaper alleged that Mr Bin Hammam paid around £3m in bribes to African football officials.
"The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
"In regard to the latest allegations from The Sunday Times, we say again that Mohamed Bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in Qatar's 2022 Bid Committee."
Sky also state that sponsors have gotten in on the act:
FIFA sponsor Sony has called on world football's governing body to investigate the allegations thoroughly.
"As a FIFA partner, we expect these allegations to be investigated appropriately," the company said in a statement to The Sunday Times.
"We continue to expect FIFA to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations."
Chris Eldergill of CNN added another sponsor to the list asking questions:
Visa also says their expectation is that their partners 'maintain strong ethical standards and operate with transparency'. #FIFA— Chris Eldergill (@EldergillCNN) June 8, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, June 4
FIFA investigator Michael Garcia will quiz Qatari officials on Wednesday over corruption claims related to the nation's successful World Cup bid.
Richard Conway of BBC Sport provides the latest:
Update from Monday, June 2
Issa Hayatou, the President of the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) and Vice President of FIFA, has issued a lengthy statement strongly denying claims made in a Sunday Times report published over the weekend.
Hayatou was implicated in corruption claims linked to Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, but insists all details in the report were completely unfounded.
The Associated Press provided an excerpt from the statement on when to expect the investigation to conclude: "The investigatory chamber of FIFA's ethics committee says 'after months of interviewing witnesses and gathering materials, we intend to complete that phase of our investigation by June 9.'"
The full statement can be read here, courtesy of www.cafonline.com.
FIFA's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar four years ago left many scratching their heads. Now it appears the Middle Eastern nation's bid for world football's premier event may have been laced with corruption.
The Sunday Times (subscription required) has acquired countless documents which it says prove Qatari football official Mohamed bin Hammam bribed officials into supporting Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup.
According to BBC Sport's David Bond, the Times alleges that the 65-year-old Bin Hammam made $5 million (£3 million) in payments to officials in an effort to buy their support.
BBC sports news correspondent Richard Conway tweeted Qatar's response to the allegations:
Breaking: Qatar 2022 statement over S Times allegations - 'Bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee'.— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) June 1, 2014
Bond adds an eye-opening twist to the story:
FA chairman Greg Dyke tells me process for World Cup 22 decision should be reopened if ST allegations against Qatar stand up.— David Bond (@DavidBondBBC) June 1, 2014
If the process is indeed reopened, there's no question FIFA will take climate into consideration when awarding the 2022 World Cup. After all, FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted last month that the organization made an "error" by awarding the event to Qatar because of the nation's scorching summer temperatures and miserable playing conditions.
Blatter also denied reports that Qatar purchased the event, per Aljazeera.com: "No, definitely not. These allegations are driven by politics."
In addition to where the 2022 World Cup will be played, the corruption allegations could also impact officials' standing with FIFA and change how the process is conducted.
While it's far too early to know what's in store, it's clear that the reports come at the worst possible time for FIFA, as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is less than two weeks away.
With much more information sure to emerge in the near future, FIFA will have to sort out all the facts before deciding the next course of action.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.