The independent chairman of FIFA's audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala, has reportedly claimed Russia and Qatar could lose the right to host the World Cup if evidence emerges of bribery in the bidding processes.
Over the past two weeks, FIFA has been embroiled in controversy as seven FIFA officials were arrested in dawn raids at a hotel in Zurich among 14 people who were charged by US authorities over allegations of racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracies spanning 24 years.
The bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals were not subject to any charges announced by U.S. authorities, but the FBI's on-going investigation into corruption at world football's governing body is set to put those processes under scrutiny.
Both Russia and Qatar have strenuously denied any wrongdoing. England lost out in the 2018 voting process to Russia, along with combined bids from Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium, while Qatar were unexpected 2022 winners ahead of the likes of the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
And Scala told Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung if anything untoward was uncovered, there could be the most serious of repercussions.
"Should there be evidence that the awards to Qatar and Russia came only because of bought votes, then the awards could be cancelled,'' he is quoted as saying in the newspaper.
Despite the investigation, FIFA president Sepp Blatter was re-elected, but on Tuesday the 79-year-old announced his resignation and Scala announced that FIFA would revisit how its entire organisation, including the powerful executive committee, is structured.