TIMELINE: Qatar World Cup 2022 Controversies

A look at the roller-coaster ride of Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid, and the allegations made since.

By
Mary Sophia
August 29, 2013

Qatar’s FIFA World Cup win has been in the limelight for many reasons since the tiny Gulf state won the right to host the tournament in 2022.

Below is a timeline of events from the date of Qatar’s win to the FIFA committee’s recent comments suggesting a change in date for the tournament.

December 2, 2010: The FIFA Committee awards Qatar the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.

2011

January 7: FIFA president Sepp Blatter backs the idea of a winter tournament, after testing the heat for himself during a summer trip to the Middle East.

January 14: Bin Hammam, a member of FIFA’s executive committee, dismissed Blatter’s bid for a tournament shift while rejecting the idea of Qatar sharing the World Cup with other GCC countries like Bahrain and the UAE.

May 11: Rumours circulate that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou and executive committee member Jacques Anouma were reportedly paid $1.5 million by Qatar in a bid to ‘buy’ votes.

May 23: Allegations arise that Qatar paid millions of dollars to the executive committee to buy votes in order to host the World Cup following a report by the British newspaper The Sunday Times. Qatar Football Association said that they “categorically deny” the allegations.

July 11: The whistleblower in FIFA 2022 corruption claims, Phaedra Almajid, a former international media officer for Qatar 2022, revealed that she had lied about the corruption claims as a revenge for losing her job. Almajid also signed an affidavit retracting her statement.

July 13: Hassan Al-Thawadi, the secretary-general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, dismissed bribery claims and reassured soccer fans of a memorable experience. He announced Qatar’s plans to construct air-conditioned stadiums and added that there would be no extreme restrictions on alcohol and dressing.

2013

January 29: Reputed French magazine France Football resurrected bribery allegations in a 15-page report called ‘Qatargate’. The magazine revealed a private dinner at Sarkozy’s residence, just nine days before the bid, where the French president allegedly forced Michel Platini, UEFA’s president to change his votes due to political reasons.

July 24: FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger said that awarding Qatar the hosting rights was a “blatant mistake.”

August 9: Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said a summer tournament is impossible following comments from his predecessor, David Bernstein, that any switch would be “fundamentally flawed”.

August 25: Blatter confirmed that the FIFA executive committee will convene for a vote on a potential time change since climate conditions in Qatar are not suitable for a summer tournament.

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