Qatar World Cup
Mohamed bin Hammam speaks during a news conference before the 2011 Asian Cup final between Japan and Australia at the Khalifa stadium in Doha, Qatar.Reuters

The former high-ranking Qatari football official Mohamed bin Hammam has been accused of paying millions into the bank accounts of football chiefs in return for support for Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid.

The Sunday Times alleges that the former Fifa executive member for Qatar used a slush fund to pay millions to influential football officials in order to win a "groundswell" of support for the bid. The newspaper's allegations are based on "millions of documents" it says it has obtained.

The newspaper alleges that these documents suggest that Bin Hammam, 65, made payments of up to $200,000 (£119,000) into the accounts of the presidents of 30 African football associations in return for their backing.

Although most did not carry a vote in the World Cup bidding process, the paper claims that Bin Hammam attempted to influence the four Africa Fifa executive committee members who each did carry a vote.

The former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president also allegedly transferred $1.6 million (£950,000) into different bank accounts connected to the former vice-president of Fifa, Jack Warner, with $450,000 (£268,000) sent before the World Cup vote.

Warner was one of the 22 Fifa officials who voted in 2010 to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively. He was forced to resign in 2011 after plotting with Bin Hammam to bribe Caribbean football officials in order to oust Fifa President Sepp Blatter.

Qatar has strenuously denied that Bin Hammam had any official involvement in the World Cup bid and claimed that the former official was always acting independently.

Bin Hammam has refused to respond to questions posed by the Sunday Times; his son has also declined to comment on his father's behalf.

Last month, Blatter admitted that awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup was "a mistake", stating that the extreme heat that footballers would face in the Emirati state made it an inappropriate choice as host country.