World Cup insurers risk flood of claims if Russia, Qatar lose bids

World Cup insurers are likely to refuse to pay out on many cancellation contracts if Russia and Qatar lose the rights to hold the tournaments because of fraud, industry experts said.

Russia and Qatar could be stripped of their World Cup hosting rights if evidence emerges of bribery in the bidding process, the head of the audit and compliance committee of soccer's governing body FIFA has said.

Lawyers and insurance specialists say many contracts could be annulled or go into dispute if governments, organising bodies, or firms such as sponsors, broadcasters or hospitality providers have taken out cancellation insurance and are found to be linked to fraudulent action.

Others who took out such contracts and did not have knowledge of any wrongdoing could be paid out in full.

Russia and Qatar have denied wrongdoing in the conduct of their bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, which were not the subject of recent charges announced by U.S. prosecutors against FIFA officials. Read the full story

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