The legitimacy of Qatar’s World Cup bid has been called into question following allegations of corruption. British newspaper The Sunday Times, claims to have obtained information from a whistle-blower that FIFA executive committee members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma were each paid US $1.5 million to vote for Qatar to host the games in 2022. […]
The legitimacy of Qatar’s World Cup bid has been called into question following allegations of corruption.
British newspaper The Sunday Times, claims to have obtained information from a whistle-blower that FIFA executive
committee members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma were each paid US $1.5 million to vote for Qatar to host the
games in 2022.
An email leaked by banned FIFA vice president Jack Warner makes further claims that Mohamed Bin Hammam “bought the games for his country”. Bin Hammam ran for FIFA president but was suspended last month following the email leak and withdrew from the presidential race.
In addition, The Sunday Times has since claimed to have seen evidence that the Qatari bid team had intentions to establish corporate social responsibility (CSR) “initiatives” during last year’s finals, breaching FIFA guidelines.
In a statement issued at the end of May, Qatar’s bid team called the allegations “distressing, insulting and incomprehensible”, and also deny any CSR initiatives took place.
The bid team also claim the whistleblower does not possess any details or first hand evidence of bribery.
Within days of the announcement of the successful bid in December 2010, Qatar’s General Secretariat for Development Planning said 200 new construction projects would be launched over Q1 2011, including 12 stadia projects; a huge drive to double the number of hotel rooms in the country; completion of the Friendship Bridge linking Qatar to Bahrain; and airport expansions at Doha International Airport.
A large proportion of those projects now face uncertainty until FIFA makes a final decision on whether a re-vote will
be held in the coming weeks.
The official statement from the bid committee read: “The aim of the bid committee has always been to show that the Middle East is a realistic option for staging the World Cup and it has worked extremely hard to bring the tournament
to the Middle East for the first time.
“To have this achievement tarnished by completely unsubstantiated and false allegations, and for those allegations to
be propounded by the parliament of the United Kingdom, is something we find distressing, insulting and incomprehensible.
“For The Sunday Times to suggest ‘nobody of sound mind could be persuaded the support for Qatar’ was based purely on merit, because Qatar is a ‘small desert state with a minuscule population, no football traditions and hostile summer
temperatures’ is not only insulting, it exemplifies the sustained and unbalanced reporting that the bid committee
has been subjected to,” the statement continued.
The election for a new FIFA president will take place on Wednesday June 1; Sepp Blatter has run uncontested since 1998.