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Wed 11 May 2011 10:03 AM

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Qatar ‘paid millions’ in World Cup bribes: report

Six FIFA officials allegedly prepared to sell their votes, claims said to be “entirely false’ by Qatar

Qatar ‘paid millions’ in World Cup bribes: report
Qatar 2022 Bid chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani receives the FIFA insignia from chief FIFA inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls. (Getty Images)
Qatar ‘paid millions’ in World Cup bribes: report
Qatar ‘paid millions’ in World Cup bribes: report

Six FIFA officials were prepared to sell their votes for up
to $1.5m each to push through Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, according
to new revelations disclosed Tuesday.

Evidence presented to a British House of Commons’ inquiry reported
claims of corruption behind Qatar’s surprise win in hosting the 2022 tournament,
including a network of bribery that implicated senior FIFA officials.

Qatar beat bids from the US, Australia, Japan and South
Korea to win December's vote.

In evidence heard Tuesday, and republished in a letter on
the Commons’ website, the Sunday Times alleges that Michel Zen-Ruffinen, a former
secretary general of FIFA, introduced undercover reporters to an acquaintance Amadou

Zen-Ruffinen is said to have claimed Qatar was “using Diallo
to arrange financial deals with the African [FIFA committee] members in
exchange for World Cup votes".

Diallo was a chief assistant to Issa Hayatou, the
Confederation of African Football’s president, the letter claimed.

Ismail Bhamjee, a former member of the FIFA executive
committee, was directly quoted in the report as saying Africa's current and former
representatives on the FIFA executive committee had previously sold their votes.

“And I’m told the Africans will get… anything from a quarter
to half a million dollars,” Bhamjee is reported as saying in reference to
alleged bribes from Qatar. “This is separate from the football.”

The Sunday Times also alleged that Amadou Diakite, a former
FIFA executive committee member who remained on the referees’ committee, talked
about $1m to $1.2m payments for "projects by Qatar in return for their
2022 vote" during telephone conversations.

The letter further claimed the paper had been told by “a
whistleblower that worked with the Qatar bid” that the Gulf state had paid
$1.5m to Hayatou and Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast to secure their vote.

“[The allegations] raise questions about the validity of
Qatar’s winning bid,” said the letter.

At least six FIFA executives were prepared to sell their
votes, the Commons’ committee heard.

Lawyers hired by the Qatar bid denounced the allegations as “entirely
false”, a denial repeated by the Qatar Football Association on Tuesday night.

In a statement, the association said the bid team “categorically
deny” the allegations.

As the Sunday Times itself states, these accusations 'were
and remain unproven'. They will remain unproven, because they are false,"
it said.

"We have nothing to hide and are prepared to support
and cooperate with any further investigations."

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Nadeem Shah 9 years ago

LOL - give me news! That's what I had exactly felt personally. Anyway, managing the traffic will be a big challenge for the authorities for the event to take place successfully.

One other thing expected to take place again (like Asian Games 2006) is the sky-rocketing prices of the real estate for the masses.

Anyway, good luck Qatar.

Tizoc 9 years ago

And this is a surprise to everyone?

tony 9 years ago

Why else would FIFA give it to a country where temperatures are above 50 in summer?

Ed 9 years ago

Another sports related scandal. I hope the "system" will expose if there was any wrong doing, especially the individuals taking bribes, but also the individuals and superiors offering the bribes if any of such thing has taken place. The problem always is to get proof in hands. Supposedly many $ 's have exchanged hands; with such amounts there is likely also heavily invested to ensure evidence is hard to get by. But I think many common people already have made up their mind unfortunately.

Paolo C 9 years ago

The best punishment for those corrupted fifa representatives is jail for 10 years with a 24 hour/day loud radio account of all the soccer games of the world.

Jebel Ali Baba 9 years ago

That was clear from the beginning. Time to revert the decision and give the World Cup to a real football nation or a country with a moderate climate at least. And sack the corrupt members in UEFA!!! Maybe Blatter first...

jay 9 years ago

FIFA could fall within 6 months and there power will be dissolved , the whole bidding procedure will be redone again . Lets be honest any one with any sense can see what went on , it was purely a financial and political decisicon for Russia and Qatar to be awarded these 2 World Cups . Its not sour grapes , it's about the tournament , fans and players.

Basel Shouly 9 years ago

Sore losers! The Qataris beat the 'Great' boys fair and square. We are living in a new age and a new world. At least the Qataris have airconditioning. What will the English do when its 40 degrees in the summer?! We have to take a European heat wave and shut up but we cant go to Qatar. The underdogs are now the masters whether you people like it or not. You can sit and whine about it in London during the world cup. I'm flying to Qatar.

ar 9 years ago

Its a case of bitter grapes for all the other countries which were in the fray. Now that they do not have it they have tried to pull punches at Qatar. The deed is done and therefore lets not pull back the joy of the kids who are preparing to see the games hosted in their country. The solutions offered are really splendid if the games are held. One should appreciate that. If the bribes were given and taken the parties are at fault and fifa had enough time to see to that the action is taken.
Now crying foul is of no use.
Perhaps they donot like a muslim country hosting anything meaningful.

snake 9 years ago

That was clear from the very beginning, who with a clear mind would give a world cup to a desert country with temperatures where even the camels have to live in airconditoned quarters. The FIFA is a totally corrupt body.