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Monday, July 26, 2021

AP sports columnist argues for calm over Qatar World Cup allegations

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World Cup Bid Celebration

With Qatar in the hot seat again over bribery allegations related to its 2022 World Cup bid, many questions are being raised internationally about the fate of the country’s hosting rights.

Officials in some nations, including the UK and Australia, are already indicating that they wouldn’t mind hosting the tournament in the event of a revote.

But going against the grain, one sports columnist is urging politicians to pause for a moment and consider the implications of their words. In a new post, Associated Press writer John Leicester argues:

“They should consider how public opinion in the Middle East might react if Qatar was shamed in the eyes of the world by being stripped of the tournament, especially if evidence to justify such a financial, geopolitical, legal, social and sporting earthquake is anything less than rock-solid.

They also should consider whether pressure on FIFA to ditch Qatar is based on an abundance of cold, hard facts and incontrovertible proof of Qatari wrongdoing that makes FIFA’s 2010 vote for the Gulf nation invalid. Or is Western snobbery, jealousy of Qatar’s wealth and disdain — verging on borderline racism at times — for what is a new frontier in the global spread of football also playing a role, even a minor one, here?”

Here in Doha, many residents have echoed similar questions about why exactly Qatar is in the spotlight. On Twitter, for example, some said:

https://twitter.com/natalthani/status/473480149602537472

Whatever the reasons for focusing attention on Qatar, the evidence of vote-buying nonetheless seems quite compelling, Leicester adds.

However, he said that no revote can be justified until Qatar’s bid is properly investigated. Currently, that has been the main role of Michael Garcia, FIFA ethics chief.

He has been traveling and interviewing officials and other stakeholders about Qatar and Russia’s bids for more than a year, and plans to submit investigation results this summer.

However, the Guardian reports that Garcia has declined this week to examine the “millions” of documents the Sunday Times said it obtained from a FIFA insider, prompting some concerns about the fairness of the investigation.

Thoughts?

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Jimjam
Jimjam
7 years ago

There does not seem to be any outright accusation of Qatar, its government or the bid commitee issuing bribes. Just allegations against one man, Bin Hammam, who is said to have made these illicit payments that have said to have benefitted Qatar’s bid. If these reports are proved accurate, then there should be a re-vote. If Qatar’s bid is the best, then it will win again.

Michael L
Michael L
7 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

Well said, I think that this is a very fair point of view.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

the allegations are based on bin hammam making illicit payment to help advance his chances of becoming the next FIFA chief, a position he has been lobbying for at the same time as Qatar’s world cup bid. If there is proof of wrongdoing he and those he bribed should be held accountable, not Qatar.

I agree with the above statement, that states there needs to be hard objective evidence of any wrong doing. So far all we have seen is sensational journalism and shamming on Qatar.

As much as I did not want the world cup to be hosted in Qatar, this ongoing shaming has to stop.. and since when is UK’s newspapers any authority on ethics.. ?

if there are millions of documents, then make them public… show us the smoking gun that incriminates the Qatar 2022 bidding committee to bribery charges…

ngourlay
ngourlay
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You seem to be under the misapprehension that The Sunday Times’s aim is to achieve justice, rather than sell newspapers. It’s editor must be praying that this goes on until 2022, with every few weeks a new story being published that further damns the bidding process. If I were a Qatari, I’d be lobbying for this to stop right now, rather than the whole world being told for the next eight years that Qatar and bribery are synonyms.

Jimjam
Jimjam
7 years ago
Reply to  ngourlay

Good luck with the lobbying of a UK newspaper. The government tried to threaten the Telegraph on MP’s expenses and ended up making things worse for themselves.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

Indeed, if the British government is not in control of the newspapers, what arrogance is there to think that foreigners from Qatar would get to call the tune?

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  ngourlay

Rightly or wrongly, the whole world already thinks that bribery and Qatar are synonymous – the 5 minute video segment on the home page of CNN International yesterday would leave anyone with that impression.

What is quite astonishing is the lack of leadership displayed by the Qatari personalities on this one. You’d think that there would be a lot of movement to control the message and get in front of the story, instead it has been nothing but reacting. This has not helped any legitimate case that Qatar may have.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

you walk into a bar.. you meet a nice girl.. have a drink.. get her numebr and walk out… next thing you know she is accusing you of rape.. you hardly touched the girl.. will you proactively pounce around saying hey guys i didnt rape the girl i had drinks with the other night.. how do they proactively fight this off when they are unaware of it… the accusations of human rights abuse is legit.. and the country is trying to take action to fix it … but if you feel the accusations are groundless yet the whole world wishes to blame you there is little you can do… anything you say in your own defense will incriminate you even more… the US lost to Qatar.. UK lost to Russia… were being attacked by both US and UK mainstream media… there is little you can really do except go on with your work…

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Yes you would proactively say and try to prove you did not. Sorry but silence makes you at least seem guilty.

The country is barely trying to make things better on the HR front. See yesterdays story on the watered down corrections they’ll be making.

Um I think the USA media is just reporting what is coming out of the UK.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

CNN and ESPN are running their own stories

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

regurgitating what the UK paper has said and nothing new.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I think that perhaps part of the problem here is that historically due to the way the country is owned and run, when something happens the ranks close up and no information gets out. It seems in this day and age one needs to come out fighting rather than sit quietly otherwise one just looks guilty. This goes against the normal Qatari approach to things so they now look a bit lost on the world stage. An independent inquiry by the Qataris identifying the people responsible (if bribery is shown) is required, but one that is transparent and with foreign observers so that there are independent judges. Then at least, if there is any guilt you can walk away saying that yes we got it wrong but we have dealt with the wrongdoers.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I would be shouting to the high heavens, collecting the CCTV footage, having my lawyers interview other patrons in the bar, demanding DNA tests, oh yes indeedy. I would also change my choice of bars, but that is a different story.

Unaware of it? This story, particularly the Bin Hammam angle, has been building for months. A quick SWOT analysis would have had someone in authority long ago starting an investigation like the DLA Piper one, and then, if Qatari official involvement was found, very publicly lining the offenders up against the wall and shooting them (figuratively of course). A policy of ignore, ignore, deny, deny, in the face of snowballing information does not help. I find it hard to believe that someone in authority didn’t say “What is our exposure on this and how can we minimize any possible damage?”

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

But in this case she is clearly bruised and her knickers are in your pocket. Perhaps not your doing but you better get your message across – and fast.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

There should be no bars and he should not be speaking to the woman in the first place.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

🙂

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

They are. They are publishing them over the next two weeks. Same as the telegraph did to British MPs over their expenses.

If Qatar’s bid is innocent sue the Times for libel

Jimjam
Jimjam
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

This is not about shaming as a primary objective. It is about an expose into alleged illegal payments, and if they have taken place then there needs to be action taken. As I said if the payments made meant that Qatar won the bid, then the vote shold be run and allow Qatar to once again prove the merits of its bid.
And you make think this is sensational journalism from the Sunday Times – believe me this is business as usual. This is nowhere near the sensationalism that can perform.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago

If it turns out Qatar did something wrong and should be stripped of the tournament, then it makes sense to punish all the people who contributed to this, including Sepp Blatter, Platini and the majority of the top managers of FIFA.

Now that said, it is in my opinion highly unlikely that this happens. The political and financial implications of stripping Qatar of its hosting rights on a country like the UK for example will by far outweigh the benefit of shifting it to the UK. Even David Cameron himself will think twice before accepting such a decision, even though he now looks aggressive and not very diplomatic in his comments.

Jimjam
Jimjam
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

How will Qatar be able to threaten the UK based on this, and what impact do you think it will have? i am curious.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

A simple calculation: how much will the UK spend on the WC if it hosts it in 2022? The infrastructure is ready and they might end up spending few billion dollars here and there to upgrade and add some more stadia and roads.
Now compare this to the money Qatar is expected to spend: a staggering 200 billion dollars. How much of it would go to British companies? 10%? 15%? Even less than that would be more than what the UK will spend. Therefore it is in the interest of the UK (and particularly British companies) to keep the cup in Qatar and lobby to get as much contracts as they can, rather than take it home and struggle to get the needed resources from tax payer money.

Jimjam
Jimjam
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I think you overegg the importance to UK of Qatar. 200bn over eight years is 25bn a year, or about £16bn. Assume that 30% of that goes directly to UK companies – as 51% will go to Qatari companies. Of that, how much will be spent on labour workforce from the sub-continent, and their remittances back home going accordingly. If we assume a 5% profit margin then £2.4bn would be reverted to the UK over 10 years. For scale, that is one fifth of the annual healthcare budget for the country.
In economics terms the few billion of £ spent in the UK is far more valuable to the UK local economy than a possible £2.4bn over 10 years. Say £5bn is spent, the vast majority of that would be on local workforce that would spend its money in the UK and not transfer it abroad. Using a perpituity calculation and say of every £1 that is spent on contracts in the UK 70p is but back through spending in shops – that could give a total value of £16bn.
I dont think David Cameron is losing sleep over this.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

I am afraid I completely disagree with your calculations. First, you have to understand that there is a huge difference between Qatar offering lucrative contracts to British companies and UK doing the same. Not only the UK will not compete with Qatar in terms of the value, the UK will also have to find the money first, which would not be an easy task as it comes from tax payer money. Second, the UK is bound by international rules that stipulate that most bids should be open to companies from around the world. Third, not 51% of the projects will be given to local companies as you mentioned. The rail and the stadia will not developed by locals but by international firms. Moreoever, this rule says that preference will be given in some cases to Qatari or Qatari-Foreign partnerships, so even if that rule is applied there will always be room for lucrative contracts going to foreign companies through partnerships.

So to make it simple. In the first case it is Qatar that gives money to UK companies, and in the second it is the UK taxpayer who will give the money to their own companies. That on its own make the first option (Qatar hosting the WC) way more lucrative.

Jimjam
Jimjam
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

What you are not appreciating is the economic impact to the UK that hosting the World Cup will have. It will bring spending interms of infrastructure, which in turn brings tax revenue to the UK, and through the multiplier effect that money will keep going around the system as it is spent by the workers.
This is what the UK government cares about far more than perhaps a billion or so being sent back to the UK for shareholders.
in your first case, yes the money will go to a say a UK firm, but that then needs to go to pay for labour, materials, transports etc. And how much of that will actually end up in the UK – far less than the value of the contracts.
And to the UK 10% of $200bn (your figures) over 8 years – about £16bn – not even taking into account the expenditure to labour etc, is not as big a figure as you think – the UK GDP is about 1,000 times that.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

“the richest country in the world” actually has an economy about the size of Louisiana

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Uk was not in the bidding for ’22 so I’d say they are a long shot at best. Would either be the US or possibly Autrailia/Japan

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Which country was runner-up? Or does FIFA not have that? Still, I think the media is sensationalising the issue more than it deserves. Who’s actually surprised FIFA may have accepted bribes, and are you saying that no other bidding nation was corrupt in any way, ever? I guess someone in the organisation was feeling a little bitter…

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

USA was runner up.

Saying “well they did it too” is what my 5 yr old used to say. the smoke is around Qatar, and FIFA, no one else. Me thinks fire is close behind.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

The problem is that, if something wrong happened, what will you do to the FIFA execs who received, helped receive or turned a blind eye to those who received bribery? You can’t say you will take the WC from Qatar, do the revote and that is it, as this would look highly ridiculous and hypocritical. If Qatar will be stripped of the WC than make sure half the management of FIFA will be sued and put in jail for the bribes they received and the impact this whole story had on the country. But scapegoating only Qatar is not a solution.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

If any of the money passed through a US bank, computer server or business – anywhere – those officials could easily find themselves in front of a US court. The FBI is currently investigating to see if that is the case. Fingers crossed.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I totally agree. the first step, if proven, should be the bid is revoted. That’s a no brainer. Second, those who did the bribing should be banned for life but that may be a moot point if it is the same source as before. Third, those who took the bribes should be banned as well. Fourth FIFA needs a total rebuild. The impact on the country, assuming your speaking about Qatar, is Qatar’s own fault. I have no proof, and maybe that will come out as well, but saying they had no idea he was out there doing this is a bit suspect.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

You assume that the UK government controls the newspapers – they don’t. The newspapers will investigate until they feel that there is no more story. Don’t assume that the interests of the British government and that of the newspapers are synonymous. Secondly, the Qatari investments in the UK are controversial, and frankly, not much liked by many. Many people would not shed a tear to see them reduced.

kubaru
kubaru
7 years ago

Some people genuinely can’t believe that in some countries governments has very little power in that area. Different historical experience, I believe.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  kubaru

2014 Press Freedom Index – UK 33rd (not bad) QA 113th (not good)

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago

I think you missunderstood me. I never said Cameron controls newspapers, but I was criticizing the fact that he jumped on the occasion and said his country is willing to host the World Cup if allegations of wrongdoings are proved.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Ah yes, you are correct I did misunderstand that. Equally though, Japan has said that they are willing to do the same, as did the US. Mr. Cameron’s comments don’t seem to be anything special.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago

Why the default assumption “revote = losing hosting right”..?

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Indeed, Qatar should welcome a revote – if they won it once on the merit of their bid, they doing it again should not be difficult.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
7 years ago

Exactly right. If you’ve done nothing wrong and you have nothing to hide, bring on a re-vote tomorrow and clear all doubt.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

lol… hey obama you’ve been president long enough.. i’ve got enough prove to claim your not american and hate america.. i demand a revote and if your confident enough and have nothing to hide then you’ll allow it .. otherwise your hiding something…
that’s exactly how you sound right now

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Yep, exactly, you understand the system and the way it works perfectly. That is exactly what happens when the president loses the faith of the electorate. Seems to me that faith in the Qatari bid has been lost, but it can be regained a number of ways – the one you just suggested being a popular option.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago

Why is the default mindset: revote = losing the hosting right….

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Questions that need to be answered.

1. Why did Bin Hamman hand out money and be involved with business deals with FIFA members representing Africa, Asia and the Carribean?
2. Why did Plantini meet with Qatari officals in secret with Mr Sarkozy?
3. For no.2 does it have any relation to Mr Platini’s son being then offered a job by a Qatari company and Qatar buying PSG the former French president’s favourite?
4. Why did Bin Hamman support and pay for the disgraced Oceaniers FIFA offical appeal when he was barred from voting, knowing that the replacement would have not voted for Qatar?
5. Why did the FIFA medical chief’s son receive an offer of empoyment with Aspetar shortly after the award of the world cup?
6. Actually I can’t be bothered to go on, there are just too many questions, maybe they are all just coincedences and I find it said the defence is now racism. That smacks of someone without a defence.

The only way Qatar can clear this up is to now launch legal action against the Times in the UK and sue for millions in damages for libel. Go on Qatar, if you have nothing to hide, do it and teach them a lesson. We cannot have the free press in the west printing lies and untruths, show us it is not.

ngourlay
ngourlay
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Answers:

1-6. Because they thought they wouldn’t get caught.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  ngourlay

Or they thought that is what everyone else does, so they outplayed them at their own game

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Just like football though if you want to play with the big boys you play by the international rules which usually includes the UK trash rags and their wily ways.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

1. bin hammam was lobbying to become the next FIFA chief at the same time.

2. why do you assume the meeting is secret? did you want heads of state to meet in the cinema or a cafe? why shouldn’t platini be present, maybe they wanted to discuss PSG purchase, maybe they wanted him to run Qatar 2022 in case qatar wins, maybe they wanted him to coach qatar national team, maybe he happen to pop in for a cup of tea!! Maybe the french president wanted to tell him if the middle east wins it will be good for french business and politically smart, the region needs it. and he said good luck to them i wish I could help but I’m here for the tea!
3. is platini’s son qualified for the job… do you honestly believe platini advanced the chances of qatar to win the WC to secure a job for his son!! do you think his son could not get a job anywhere else… do you think qatar, if it wanted to bribe an official, would be a bit more discrete than outright offer someone’s son a job. Could it possibly a concidence? Could it simply be they did offer him the job because his father is platini just like I would offer a job to Pele’s son or chelsea clinton if they’d accept!! or your tying things that don’t exist…
besides what kind of a bribe is this ! offering my kid a job.. if I helped you win the world cup i would demand a bit more than a job.. which given Im effing platini could have secured for my son regardlessly…
4. because arsenal, manchestar united, madrid and bacrawere not for sale…. and qatar did and still is trying to purchase a controling stake in man u… and half of france are behind the same team… only the most undervalued team in western europe that belongs to a major european city with over 7 million people and a stadium that’s smack center… hmmm france’s president is behind the same team… shk tammim is al sadd fan ( i think) concidence al sadd won the newly names Amir Cup !!.. hmmmm
Maybe there are so many questions becuase your asking so many questions… if you want conspiracy you can make a good story… if you want drama yo can make a good story.. you don’t need facts or hard evidence to prove anything anymore… all you need is to tap onto people’s emotions and you create a story..

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Have you sat down and looked at some of the documents that the Telegraph has made available? They, at the very least, make one pause; if these documents are authenticated that is your evidence. If the documents yet to come are of the same quality there are many questions to be answered – this has nothing to do with tapping on people’s emotions,and show accusations of racism to be a straw man.

Even if ‘Qatar’ itself just lobbied aggressively and did not officially direct the bribery, if it happened, it calls the whole process into question. Even if Bin Hammam was just trying to be helpful in a personal capacity, the process was rigged and needs to be re-thought. It is looking more and more like Qatar’s ‘win’ was the result of cheating- whether ‘Qatar’ was actively directing the corruption or not.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

then authenticate the evidence, and if true withdraw the world cup, disallow qatar national team from playing international football for several years, and axe all the FIFA officals involved.
Till then i disagree outright with your statement. Qatar win is not more and more looking like the result of cheating, it’s more and more being reported on…

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Well, we’re in agreement, with your first paragraph, though I think that disallowing playing international football is overly harsh.

We’ll have to agree to disagree on your second statement, though I suppose I could consider it to be partially correct – yes, it is more and more being reported on, though that is because more and more information is coming out. Does it qualify as ‘evidence’ – well, we’ll know in the next couple of weeks as more documents are released and have their authenticity confirmed or denied. I’m sure that there will lots of opportunity to discuss this very topic over the next few weeks. 😉

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

This is probably the key point. Everyone cheats but not everyone gets caught.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Exactlly. Everyone speeds and jaywalks too, but saying that everyone does it, and worse than me, doesn’t carry any weight – nor should it. Could just be bad luck on Qatar’s part, who knows, but the taint is there.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Not so much bad luck as an easy target. Journalists who accuse the Russians of cheating disappear. That’s why the UK press is focussing on Qatar, even though the UK lost it’s bid to Russia.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

i thought your are guilty until you prove innocence in qatar…

ekul_f
ekul_f
7 years ago

Look at the bigger picture people, If one man was able to bribe FIFA officials into voting for Qatar so be it. But it’s FIFA the spotlight should be on. FIFA are ones who accepted the bribes and covered it up.

A whole overhaul of FIFA is required. Or a new governing body over world football.

FIFA are a disgrace

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
7 years ago
Reply to  ekul_f

I totally agree. Why anyone would want to be involved with them and host their events is beyond me.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

It’s Qatar

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

because only qatar is trying to host FIFA events?

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
7 years ago

I don’t understand your point. Lots of politicians in lots of countries want to host the World Cup, despite the flawed economics. No world cup has financially benefited the host country for decades.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/hope-fades-in-brazil-for-a-world-cup-economic-boost-1401242039

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

U said why would anyone want to be involved with them (FIFA). Mr.desertcard replied saying it’s qatar implying that only somone like qatar would want to be involved with someone as corrupt as FIFA. I said because only qatar wants 2? What I meant was everyone gets involved with fifa and wants to hold there events. I guess I don’t convey sarcasam and tone very well in writing

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago

Yeah, sarcasm is always so hard in writing.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago

Now I can’t tell if that was sarcastic or not

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago

Exactly my point..:-)

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
7 years ago

Indonesia was originally bidding against Qatar but they pulled out of the race. Some countries want to host the event, but many do not. And as we now see in Brazil, less than half the population want the event (48%). It’s the leaders who bid for the event, not ‘the people’.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

Because they also involve themselves with the likes of the Taliban, etc. But also if all is proven the QFA is as corrupt as FIFA.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

dont see how thats relevant to this story but ok, i guess qatar is involving itslef with the likes of the taliban because we just learn from the US. western powers have backed so many terrorists groups and dictatorship regimes at one time we small nations just like to copy 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Spot on, its a stupid decision for a country and its people. FIFA make you pay for their event and then they keep all the money from TV deals, sponsorship and marketing. Fantastic business model for FIFA and you want it so much, you have to offer FIFA officals ‘inducments’. It is the perfect con.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  ekul_f

Correct, FIFA is the real villian, a real vipers nest of corruption and deceit.

Diego
Diego
7 years ago

When there is a direct connection that indicates that the Qatar bid was largely influenced by Bin Hammans payments,then that elevates the seriousness.Otherwise I feel Qatar has the right to maintain the bid.There were positives about awarding to the region,heat aside(which everyone was well aware of). I consider lobbying for a cause in an aggressive manner would be second place to FIFA game fixing allegations that have surfaced again this week.An other thing one would have to be cognizant of, is the source of the emails and who had access to those and could they have been altered. World Cup attention has brought the Kafala system under the microscope,which is positive.At this point I am not in favor of jumping on the bandwagon to revote or take the bid away.Lastly it would be necessary to look at the level of any inappropriate payments and how many votes could have been influenced.This could be a can of worms so large that Qatars involvement may only be a small part.

disqus_21uQ1hXhE0
disqus_21uQ1hXhE0
7 years ago

I would be more upset if I felt like Qatar is being singled out, but Brazil is getting a lot of criticism for the way they are treating their own citizens in the build up to the World Cup, tearing down homes, spending public money on stadiums not schools, beating up the poor residents of favelas, etc. It’s too late for Brazil but we should expect more from hosts including Russia in 2018 and 2022. Football is not an excuse to destroy a human life, FIFA making money hand over fist sickens me.

Fahad
Fahad
7 years ago

Qatar received more recognition internationally from the allegations than wining the rights to host the world cup. Good or bad, fame is fame. I say win win.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Fahad

that’s called Infamy. A bit different.

Pete
Pete
7 years ago

Exaggerated reporting always raises a red flag for me. All the reports refer to ‘millions’ of documents…that simply cannot be true so it calls into question the motives of the source.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Pete

It could easily be millions – particularly if they were hacked. Whether they’re all of much relevance is a different question.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Really? I find it near impossible that they’d even have 1 million emails, let alone multiples! Why would you need that many for a bribe?

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I’ve got close to 100,000 myself so it doesn’t surprise me in the least if they were hoovering up whole mail servers they would soon get a few million. It is easy to get hold of documents. It is hard to find the ones that are of any relevance.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I just looked at what is archived at work, it is just over 83,000, and I’ve been with the institution fewer than 2 years. Large institutions, multiple people, I can easily see millions. We’ll find out as more communications are released I’m sure.

greylag
greylag
7 years ago
Reply to  Pete

And how legally were these ‘millions’ of emails obtained? British journalism at its best!

Moleskine
Moleskine
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

I have read that some emails originate from a FIFA whistleblower. Secondly, the press in the UK have a legal pass on underhand tactics if they can uncover something illegal and it’s in the ‘public interest’. Whether you agree with that, or not, is a matter of opinion.

greylag
greylag
7 years ago
Reply to  Moleskine

Oh really? And that includes hacking into anyone’s private communications , just to find any ‘wrongdoing’? I don’t believe so. There are a couple of very high profile court cases going on in London just now over this.

Moleskine
Moleskine
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

Yes I’m afraid that is the case. The hacking cases you reference were not linked to obtaining evidence of illegal activity and were not in the public interest .

Moleskine
Moleskine
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

Britain’s most senior prosecutor, the Director of Public Prosecutions, in an interview with the Guardian, said: “We’ve got to recognise that in the course of journalism, journalists will rub up against the criminal law and that is why, in our guidelines, we took the approach that we would assess where there was evidence of a criminal offence, whether the public interest in what the journalist was trying to achieve outweighed the overall criminality.”

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/oct/18/uk-prosecutor-journalists-law-public-interest

greylag
greylag
7 years ago
Reply to  Moleskine

And that is why GCHQ forced the Guardian to destroy the computer hard drives which held (allegedly) some of Snowden’s stolen data? Also not in the public interest?

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

Rather pointless given all the information is already out there.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

Nowhere have I heard it claimed that the newspapers,, in this case, ‘hacked’ anything. They have data in their possession, it may be have been illegally obtained by others, but in this case it seems that there hasn’t been any illegal activity by the UK press.

The court cases to which you refer is a very different beast. Clear criminality by a paper that isn’t public interest – there is really no comparing the two.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago

It was me. I started it as a rumour.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Ah, then well played good sir – it seems to be getting some traction on some of the foreign blog sites.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago

Oops – how do i retract that.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

You can’t, it is on the internet, and it is forever. It is kind of like that letter you wrote while drunk to your ex when you were 20. No take backs and no re-dos.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago

I was 30 and everything she said was a lie.

greylag
greylag
7 years ago

So if the information was ‘illegally obtained by others’, does not the receipt of stolen data seem wrong to you? How would you like it if this were your data? The press wants to sell newspapers, plain and simple. Spare me the thought that they have a ‘higher calling’.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

If someone sends me a spreadsheet showing that your company has been breaking the law, what would you have me do with it?

disqus-eyrhws
disqus-eyrhws
7 years ago

In brazil, people are protesting that the event is even
taking place and there has been massive issues of internal corruption;

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/16/world/americas/brazil-world-cup-protests/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2014/05/12/five-sad-and-shocking-facts-about-world-cup-corruption-in-brazil/

In Australian their own bid is been looked into :
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-03/probe-likely-into-australias-world-cup-bid/5496026

“Certainly, the people that Australia was giving money to were very much similar to the people Bin Hammam was giving money to,” she said.

And as for Fifa , It has had corruption issues for a long as I can remember, and publicly since the late 1980’s,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA#Allegations_of_corruption_and_legislative_interference

I for one think that Qatar bid was far and above the best one on the table and I hope that the event is used as an opportunity for the country to prove the worlds’ media wrong.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  disqus-eyrhws

Take away any corruption allegations and you’ve still got:
– human rights issues
– heat
– lack of proven infrastructure
– lack of experience with big events
– did anyone mention beer?

disqus-eyrhws
disqus-eyrhws
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

ok well,
-the human rights issues are a real problem however, hopefully legitimate steps are being taken currently to begin to resolve this
– the heat will be worked out by adjusting the schedule. This item would have been clear throughout the bidding process and if hot weather is a deciding factor, it rules out this whole region form the process.
– both the infrastructure and the large event experience would have been tested during the asian games
– and i think that provisions may be made to facilitate ‘beer’ when the time comes.

If not Qatar then who ?

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  disqus-eyrhws

– There is no sign so far that the expectations of the international community are going to be met regarding human rights
– The bid was for a summer World Cup. If that changes it should be rebid or you are messing up with other schedules and (expensive) tv rights. Also everyone should be bidding for the same thing – either a summer or winter WC
– Not even close. Last Asian cup was a big mess and is tiny in comparison. Facilities aren’t going to be in place in time for the next one.
– On beer you are probably correct.
If not Qatar then any of the other bidders but then US & Japan/Korea have had it before so why not Australia?

disqus-eyrhws
disqus-eyrhws
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I’m Australian, and to be honest, the country didn’t really want it.
Our bid was lackluster and there are several issues with having it there. Travel distance to, and around the country for players and fans is one. It would be like having the tournament spread over the whole gcc.
Flying from one match to the next makes the tickets very expensive and therefore limits the experience.
The time difference is also a negative factor related to broadcasting and the general fan enjoyment/participation.
Also we were towards the end of the global recession and weren’t really prepared to spend much money on the event itself. On anything for that matter that could guarantee financial payback. And they probably still aren’t.
There was little, if any, news relating to the bid until after it was announced, It simply wasn’t a high priority for the government, or in my opinion, the populace. There was a headline on the day of the announcement, but certainly not the day before, or the day after.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  disqus-eyrhws

I am not Australian and much of what you have said could be said for the US bid when they won it and staged it very successfully. As for the time zone most of the population of the world is now actually lives in or close to the Australian time zones. If you want a “world” cup wouldn’t that be the place to have it?

greylag
greylag
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

If you have never been to Aus, you should go, just to see how far it is, and how big when you get there. Qatar is two hours flight away from almost a quarter of the worlds population. In any case, most of the tickets will be bought by Saudis..and they are football crazy!

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

You’re sounding a bit eurocentric. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have been there and have even lived there for a while. Not many people actually go to any world cup. The TV time zones are what bring the money in. And if you’re wondering where people actually live in the world this map gives a pretty good indication and it ain’t too far from Australia – http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/18mtwufmgj2mojpg.jpg

greylag
greylag
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Yes, and if you overlay a two hour flight circle over yours, centered on Doha, you will see what I mean. You would then have much of India, all the Mid-East, and Eastern Med countries.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

What you mean about what? – you don’t appear to have commented previously on this. Also you’re over estimating a bit about the 2 hours. Assuming a plane does about 1000 km/hr (and that is generous) you get most of Pakistan but not India – Map > http://bit.ly/1ouDUAi

Passthebuck
Passthebuck
7 years ago
Reply to  disqus-eyrhws

As a fellow Australian you may want to recheck some of your ideas. The former Rudd government was right behind this bid at the time. Unfortunately the present government is highly unlikely to get in behind a re-bid, if it actually happens.
When Australia held the Olympics the football events were held in different cities, teams don’t fly all over to play. The groups are hosted in different cities to eliminate travel.
As 1 of the great sport playing nations we would have embraced the World Cup fully by the time it came around. Either way it doesn’t matter as Australia hasn’t been squeaky clean in this so is unlikely to get it anyway.
Without FIFA and Blatter agreeing to any recommendations to come from the integrity investigator Mr Garcia’s report, then reform is unlikely. But if a re-bid is called for then they can’t just ignore the technical report again. On that alone Qatar should never have won the bid, as the World Cup is meant to be played June/July to fit world football schedules.
As for FIFA reforming, as International cycling Federation (UCI) has had to do, I’ll believe when I see it

Myrddin
Myrddin
7 years ago
Reply to  disqus-eyrhws

Human Rights – legitimate steps are being taken – very slowly – too slow for the International community – too fast for the Qatari business community?
The heat – the bid was for a Summer tournament, that was always the case – the technical report gave Qatar a poor rating because of this (conveniently ignored by the selection committee) – the UK will forever be ruled out of a bid for the Winter Olympics, not enough guaranteed snow, Boo Hoo… I think we can live with that fact!
Large event – do I really have to expand on the fiasco surrounding all recent ‘big event’ football matches here?
Beer provisions – still expect a big fight from authorities as the certainty of the WC approaches, when it might really be too late to change?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

And the other countries bidding don’t have human rights issues?! Or are you going to argue, “not on the same scale as Qatar”?!

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I have my own view on the human rights in various countries and they’re obviously not perfect but if you look at the various analyses out there the other countries that bid are generally light years ahead of most countries in this region. This is what the western media will probably go by when they want to make a lot of noise.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

South Korea for one is not particularly famous for it’s human rights violations.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Actually HRW don’t even give them a chapter this year…
http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2014/country-chapters

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Seriously?? This is another one of those times when sarcasm doesn’t come through in writing, right? Until the end of military rule in South Korea it had a horrible human rights record, though to be fair, the last 35 odd years or whatever have been quite good.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago

True but that was then rather than now. Thumb screws don’t hurt as much when you don’t have them on any more.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

If human rights issues are to be a factor in determining who wins the hosting of world cup, then that should be announced before hand, not wait until a country wins then start using it as an excuse to take it away.

Would you include war crimes related to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan in the list of things to be looked at under human rights issues? How about the crime rate and issues related social justice and equality? It’s very slippery slope, and I doubt most countries would pass the test.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I’m not saying they should be or shouldn’t be (though maybe they should be?). What I am saying is that the western media, western sensibilities and anyone else who will buy into it will make it an issue – and perhaps a very big issue. If they do is it really such a “slippery slope” to consider such issues? There are very clear distinctions between countries on certain factors – e.g. Japan has definitely has relatively low income inequality. Some countries clearly do better than others on certain issues and some clearly violate to the point of becoming unacceptable in the international community – e.g. Apartheid era South Africa. Crime rate doesn’t seem to be an issue for football world cups or South Africa and Brazil wouldn’t have been the last and current venues. Can you clarify what the specific “war crimes” were in relation to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan? Although they were definitely invaded I am not sure the international community ever came to a clear consensus what were considered “war crimes” during those particular invasions.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

There are clearly some listed for the Iraq war..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_crimes

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

You mean like from the beginning you are bidding on a summer WC not a winter WC? Seems that was changed AFTER the vote.

Again with the war crimes? You bring that card out every time you have nothing sensible to argue with.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

“Nothing sensible to argue with”? No, that’d be you and your Fox News like rhetoric.

If you bring up the issue of human rights as a reason why Qatar shouldn’t be allowed to host the world cup, then it’s only fair that we bring up your own human rights issues, which as hard as it maybe for you to accept would include the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, and all the war crimes your country committed there!

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Excuse me but I’m pretty sure I have NEVER brought human rights into my WC argument.

And your retort is the invasion of Iraq. Your answer to every thing.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

In case you missed it, the person I was replying to was the one who brought up the human rights issue not me. But of course, you’re just being your typical argumentative self and acting as if you don’t know this already.

Perhaps words, are not the best way to communicate with you. I know, how about another cartoon:

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Look at the thread, you were replying to me. Senile much?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Yes, you are senile if you missed this:
Take away any corruption allegations and you’ve still got:
– human rights issues

Here’s another cartoon for you:

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

OK so no corruption and Qatars human rights suck. what’s your point? I haven’t brought HRs into the conversation at all about this subject.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Or a football culture/history

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Says the guy who calls it soccer!

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

OH my how could you say such a racist thing. What about all the slaves and indians and bombings and invasions and oh don’t forget the crusaders and white men from the west and arabs are blah blah blah blah. That’s what you sound like. Really are an idj aren’t you?

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago

They say that locks keep good people honest. Obviously FIFA has no locks on its behavior.

So what if Qatar did bribe FIFA… Why are morals so low that people only focus on Qatar and not the fact that FIFA is accepting Bribes. I would venture to say that other countries have provided the bribes that greased the skids and FIFA executives were happy to accept them then. Dont blame Qatar for FIFA being a nasty and vile organization that could care less about the sanctity of the sport yet have interest in making money off the illicit procurement of the sporting events. That’s what I call some nasty Mo-Fo’s!!

Ewald Muller
Ewald Muller
7 years ago

Does the fact that all allegations emanate from the UK not alert anyone to a simple case of sour grapes?

Moleskine
Moleskine
7 years ago
Reply to  Ewald Muller

In the shortest possible answer: No
Please expand what you mean

Ewald Muller
Ewald Muller
7 years ago
Reply to  Moleskine

If you can’t work it out you wouldn’t comprehend any expansion thereon

David
David
7 years ago
Reply to  Ewald Muller

England was bidding on 2018 not 2022. Qatar winning the right to host the World Cup in 2022 did not come at the expense of England. If it were true sour grapes all of this attention would be focused on Russia and not Qatar.

Please expand as I am genuinely curious as to why this is a case of sour grapes given England and Qatar were not even bidding for the rights to host the same World Cup.

luuke
luuke
7 years ago
Reply to  David

He has nothing to offer…..British journalists and journalism is one of the best in today’s world….They know the exact meaning of investigative journalism …The other news outlets are just pseudo ones…..and NO I’m not British….

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  luuke

They do seem to know about how to find stuff out but some of their methods definitely seem a bit questionable!

luuke
luuke
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Well , when you are up against such a powerful ,undemocratic entity , all means is fair means ….Do you think there is any other way to secure proof against these scamsters other than ‘questionable’ means ???

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  luuke

I don’t really have much of a view as to the rightness or wrongness of their methods just pointing out that they clearly have a history in the UK of using illegal/unethical methods of obtaining information.

Ewald Muller
Ewald Muller
7 years ago
Reply to  David

Thank you David, your post is coherent enough to warrant a response.
The fact that they did not bid for 2022 is irrelevant. Accusations against Qatar could open a back door on that. Qatar is a soft target as compared to “scary, big” Russia.
England, possibly justifiably, is blatantly bitter at not having been awarded a World Cup since 1966. That feeling is probably aggravated by Qatar’s economic strength and holdings in the UK, such as Harrods and Buckingham Palace (only kidding with the latter of course)