Another allegation of corruption in the awarding of the football World Cup 2022 to Qatar has been aired, with claims the 10-year-old daughter of a FIFA executive had more than £2million ($3.4m) put into a savings account set up in her name.
London’s The Telegraph claims Antonia Wigand Teixeira, the daughter of the Brazilian representative on the FIFA executive committee Ricardo Teixeira, received the money in 2011, the same year the committee awarded Qatar and Russia world cup hosting rights.
Teixeira, who stepped down from the committee in 2012, recently moved to Miami, reportedly after Brazilian police began an investigation into his FIFA-related activities.
The joint chief investigator of FIFA’s ethics committee, Michael Garcia, is evaluating the bidding process and is understood to be examining business deals connected to several current and former executive committee members.
Brazilian newspaper Estadao revealed last week that Garcia was investigating Teixeira’s decision to support Qatar’s bid, with sources close to FIFA president Sepp Blatter saying investigators were scrutinising business deals that had been made before the vote in Switzerland.
Garcia is expected to deliver his report later this year.
The money transfer to Teixeira’s daughter is believed to have been made by Sandro Rosell, who has had a long-standing business relationship with Teixeira, and until early this year was president of Barcelona Football Club.
Sources close to the football club told The Telegraph they did not know about the payment.
In December 2010, the Spanish club agreed to a sponsorship deal with the government investment body Qatar Foundation, which developed into a three-year corporate sponsorship with Qatar Airways.
In a statement to The Telegraph, lawyers acting for the Qatar bid said the payment from Rosell to Teixeira had nothing to do with the country’s bid for the 2022 World Cup and they had not given him any payments to secure a vote.
It added that there was “no question” that any payment made to Teixeira, or anyone on his behalf, was connected to the sponsorship of Barcelona FC by the Qatar Foundation or Qatar Airways.
The decision to award Qatar the World Cup has been controversial, with repeated allegations of corruption as well as appeals for the event to be moved or rescheduled due to the desert country’s severe summer heat.
Teixeira has faced numerous corruption allegations relating to his 22-year tenure as a member of the FIFA executive committee.
In 2013, he and two other executives were named in a FIFA report as having taken bribes from a company that had been granted exclusive rights to market the World Cup.
The magazine France Football also reported that in the weeks before the 2010 vote, Qatar paid double the usual price charged by the Brazil national side to have it play Argentina in Qatar.