FIFA: No legal grounds to take World Cup from Russia, Qatar

FIFA announced on Monday it has no legal grounds to strip Russia and Qatar of the World Cups awarded to them in 2018 and 2022 respectively.

Domenico Scala, who is independent chairman of FIFA's audit and compliance committee, had claimed over the weekend that Russia and Qatar could lose the right to host the World Cup if evidence emerges of bribery in the bidding processes.

Scala told a Swiss newspaper Sonntagszeitung on Saturday: "Should there be evidence that the awards to Qatar and Russia came only because of bought votes, then the awards could be cancelled."

However football's governing body came out on the contrary in a released statement.

"Russia and Qatar were awarded the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups by democratic vote of the Executive Committee," FIFA said in a statement, according to CNN. "Based on expert opinions and available facts, FIFA has no legal grounds to take away the hosting of the FIFA World Cup from Russia and Qatar."

"We will not speculate on possible scenarios and therefore have no further comments for the time being."

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.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.