PARIS: A French judge has issued an international arrest warrant against Mohamed bin Hamman, the former president of the Asian football confederation, over allegations linked to the award to Qatar by FIFA of the finals of the 2022 World Cup.

A long-running legal investigation has now been revealed as having led to the issue of the warrant by Judges Serge Tournaire and Virginie Tilmont on June 22.

Bin Hamman, 74, has reportedly not responded to the warrant. The prospect of the French authorities ever obtaining his extradition from Qatar are virtually non-existent.

Bin Hammam . . . wanted to be president of FIFA

Earlier, the judge had requested the arrest of the former president of the Oceania confederation Reynald Temarii and two other people, an adviser and a lawyer, both French.

Controversy and confusion has always surrounded the actions and motivation of Bin Hammam who once held ambitions to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.

French judges suspect that he influenced Temarii so that he would not vote for Australia, as preferred by the Oceania confederation over which presided in the run-up to the award vote by FIFA’s executive committee in 2010.

Temarii was barred from the vote over corruption allegations raised by The Sunday Times but the judges believe Bin Hamman may have paid for his defence so that he would stay in office to vote for Qatar.

Bin Hamman has been banned by FIFA from all football activity since 2011 but allegations resurfaced after the FIFAGate scandal erupted in May 2015.