New corruption allegations surface in Qatar 2022 World Cup bidding process - Gulf Business
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New corruption allegations surface in Qatar 2022 World Cup bidding process

New corruption allegations surface in Qatar 2022 World Cup bidding process

A German newspaper claims to have obtained the full version of a previously redacted report into the 2018 and 2022 tournament bidding processes

Alleged corruption in Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup included a payment of $2m to the 10-year old daughter of a FIFA official, according to reports.

Germany’s Bild newspaper said it obtained a full 349-page copy of a suppressed report into the 2018 and 2022 bidding processes by former FIFA independent ethics investigator Michael Garcia.

The former US prosecutor resigned in protest in late 2014 at the way in which the report was handled.

A 42-page version clearing Qatar of wrongdoing was later published by FIFA.

Read: Qatar 2022 World Cup: FIFA Ethics Investigator Garcia Resigns In Protest

Bild said it would publish the details from Tuesday and outlined a number of claims within.

These included allegations that three FIFA executive members were flown in a private jet belonging to the Qatari federation to a party in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ahead of the 2010 vote for 2018 and 2022 hosting rights.

It also indicated Qatar’s Aspire Academy was implicated “in a decisive manner” in the manipulation of FIFA members.

However, in a social media post the journalist who said he obtained the report, Peter Rossberg, stopped short of saying it provided proof that the “2018 or 2022 World Cup was bought” instead describing it as pieces of a larger puzzle.

German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who issued the 42-page statement based on the report in November 2014, concluded there was not enough evidence to justify reopening the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

In response, Garcia said that: The issues raised by Mr Eckert’s selection and omission of material from the report, and his additional comments, went far beyond the initial transparency concerns.”

He also indicated at the time of his resignation said FIFA had shown a “lack of leadership” on ethics issues.

“No independent governance committee, investigator or arbitration panel can change the culture of an organisation,” he added in a statement issued through his Chicago-based law firm, Kirkland & Ellis.

The awarding of the tournament to Qatar has been the subject of controversy for years, with critics stating the Gulf state had no history of football, was too small to host the tournament and would offer too harsh conditions for play in the summer, when temperatures can reach up to 50C in the day time.

FIFA later admitted that a Winter tournament would be needed in the country, potentially disrupting major football leagues across the world.

Qatar has also faced scrutiny for its treatment of labourers building world cup infrastructure including stadiums, with a recent report commissioned by the organising committee detailing how abuses were still occurring.

Read: Qatar World Cup workers face tough conditions, work 18-hour days – report

Since the shortened version of Garcia’s report was published, FIFA itself has been embroiled in a US-led corruption investigation involving authorities in several countries. This has resulted in a reshuffling of FIFA’s management and the banning of key officials from football including former president Sepp Blatter.

Qatar too has had its own more recent difficulties following a diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, which has seen the three countries close all land, sea and air links to it.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino was quoted as saying earlier this month he did not believe the crisis would threaten Qatar’s staging of the tournament in 2022.

Read: FIFA president says Qatar 2022 World Cup not under threat


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