The Abbott government will consider legal action to recoup more than $40 million wasted on Australia's futile bid to host the 2022 football World Cup, won by oil-rich Qatar on the back of alleged systematic bribery.
Minister for Sport Peter Dutton said the government would ''consider options'' to claw back the money after reports that Qatari officials showered cash on football officials across the globe to secure the hosting rights in a landslide. Australia pulled just one vote.
Australian Football Federation chairman Frank Lowy has demanded FIFA return the money, while former Soccer Australia boss David Hill has said the Rudd government was ''mad'' to risk public funds ''when everybody knew the process was crook".
Mr Dutton said the government would wait for the results of FIFA's independent investigation into the allegations football officials pocketed up to $US5 million in cash, as well as lavish gifts and free travel from former FIFA vice-president and Qatari national Mohamed bin Hammam.
Speaking in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, Mr Lowy said Australia's support for Mr Blatter hinged on his response to the report into corruption claims by FIFA chief investigator Michael Garcia.