While Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup, its lobbying in Europe is under scrutiny ©Getty Images

The European Parliament has suspended work on all legislation relevant to Qatar amid a widening bribery scandal involving the host nation of the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

A resolution to pause "all work on legislative files relating to Qatar... until the allegations have either been confirmed or dismissed" was adopted.

A proposal for more relaxed visa rules for Qatari nationals, an airspace agreement with state-owned Qatar Airways and planned trips to Qatar from Members of the European Parliament will be chiefly impacted.

Qatar has been embroiled in a lobbying storm after European Parliament vice-president Eva Kaili was among those arrested and accused of taking bribes from the Gulf state.

Kaili has been expelled from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement in Greece and stripped of her role as a European Parliament vice-president.

Kaili was one of four people charged by prosecutors in Belgium and is expected to remain in custody until at least a pre-trial hearing next week.

Two others remain detained and a third has been ordered to wear an electronic tag.

Kailli's partner Francesco Giorgi has confessed to his role in the scandal, according to Le Soir and now multiple other publications.

Prosecutors have sealed Eva Kaili's office at the European Parliament ©Getty Images
Prosecutors have sealed Eva Kaili's office at the European Parliament ©Getty Images

The Qatari state has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

The case has shone a light on its efforts to influence global affairs when the eyes of the world are on it because of the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

Much of the build-up to the World Cup centred on corruption claims involving the awarding of the event to Qatar, broken promises to stage it during the European summer and the host nation's record on human rights, in particular the treatment of migrant workers.

Around €600,000 (£516,000/$632,000) in cash was seized last Friday (December 9) when police in Brussels searched 16 addresses, and computers and mobile phones were also taken.

It has been reported widely that several bags of money were found at Kaili's home in the Belgian capital.

Kaili had recently claimed that Qatar was a "frontrunner in labour rights", and "we don't have the moral right for lectures to get cheap media attention".

Kaili met Qatar's Labour Minister Ali bin Samikh Al Marri shortly before the World Cup.