Last year's special episode provided an exposé about FIFA official's taking bribes, just days before the final vote on the host nation for the 2018 World Cup.
Panorama reporter Jon Ware revealed that BBC director general Mark Thompson had received a call from "a government minister", urging him to delay the programme. This minister is said to be Jeremy Hunt, according to The Guardian.
Ware said: "The director general then said, 'Did you want me to phone the editor and tell him to delay it? Within minutes it will end up on MediaGuardian and it will be on your doorstep. Is that what you want?'"
The British media coverage of FIFA was at the time widely blamed for England's failed World Cup bid.
A spokesperson for Hunt's Department for Culture, Media and Sport neither confirmed nor denied the reports, stating: "Jeremy Hunt has never done, and would never do, anything to undermine the editorial independence of the BBC."
Mark Thompson defended the BBC's decision to air the documentary so soon before the World Cup bid vote last year.
> Jeremy Hunt: 'BBC has left-wing bias'