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Monday, March 8, 2021

Blatter defends Qatar as World Cup sponsors express concerns

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Sepp Blatter

Pressure is building on FIFA to determine if Qatar bribed officials to win hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup.

After declining to comment about allegations that surfaced last week, the president of the world’s football governing body has finally broken his silence, taking a shot at the Gulf country’s critics.

“There is a sort of storm against FIFA relating to the Qatar World Cup,” Sepp Blatter told the BBC on Monday. “Sadly there’s a great deal of discrimination and racism.”

The official’s comments follow fresh reports published by the Sunday Times that Qatar offered discounted natural gas to Thailand in exchange for its support. The newspaper previously alleged that Qatar bribed FIFA executive committee members with some $5 million in payments to help secure votes.

In response, major World Cup sponsors – including Adidas, BP, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Hyundai/Kia, Sony and Visa – have this week expressed concern about the renewed corruption allegations surrounding Qatar’s bid. Another major sponsor, the UAE-based Emirates, has remained silent.

In separate statements, the companies argued that the accusations hurt the tournament’s image and demanded a full investigation – something FIFA argues is well underway.

Inquiry

US lawyer Michael Garcia, FIFA’s ethics chief, was due to wrap up his inquiry this week into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, won by Russia and Qatar, respectively. He’s scheduled to submit his findings in mid-July.

That timeline means Garcia will not examine the Sunday Times’ allegations, which the newspaper said is based on “millions” of pages worth of documents.

The BBC reports that FIFA will rule on the validity of the 2018 and 2022 bids this fall, at which point the “matter will be closed,” according to Blatter.

If Garcia uncovers concrete proof of bribery and calls for a re-vote, FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has said he’d support a recommendation to re-run the selection process.

Many have seized on Boyce’s comments to suggest that there’s now a real possibility that Qatar could lose the rights to host the World Cup.

For its part, Qatar’s World Cup organizing body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, has said it “vehemently” denies all allegations of wrongdoing. It has expressed confidence that any investigation will find it won the hosting rights fairly.

Sponsors’ stake

According to Reuters, it’s incredibly rare for World Cup sponsors – who collectively paid FIFA more than $180 million last year – to weigh in on such sensitive topics.

The fact that they’re suddenly expressing concern likely reflects worries that the corruption allegations would reflect negatively on their brands.

There could also be some lingering disappointment that the tournament was awarded to the Gulf country in the first place, according to an analyst quoted by the news agency:

“None of the sponsors would want it to be held in Qatar,” said David Peters, managing director of marketing company Dentsu Aegis Network Sport & Entertainment.

“FIFA haven’t given a great deal of consideration to sponsors. The sport is so big, they are less beholden than other sports,” he added.

Compared to the other bidding nations – Australia, Japan, South Korea and the US – Qatar has a relatively undeveloped market for consumer brands, Reuters notes.

Workers’ rights

Meanwhile, some human rights activists expressed dismay that it was bribery allegations, rather than documented abuses of migrant workers, that has caused so many to reconsider Qatar’s hosting rights:

Meanwhile, Amnesty International released a poll of some 13,000 football fans across the world that found 73 percent of respondents who wanted FIFA to consider moving the 2022 World Cup on human rights grounds.

For its part, Amnesty is not calling for Qatar to lose its hosting rights. Instead, the organization said it believes there is still time for the country to change its policies and improve its human rights record.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been updated after clarifying that he would review the allegations made by the Sunday Times, which were based on material he said “has been available to us for some time,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

102 COMMENTS

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Farhan Khurshid
6 years ago

Damn, it doesn’t looks good. Its all messed up.. Relax !! relax!!

HoHum
HoHum
6 years ago

Blatter calling others racist is really rich, considering he caused a firestorm with his dismissive approach to racism a couple of years ago. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/01/07/sepp-blatter-racism_n_2422879.html

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

If you read the full text of what Blatter was quoted as saying, you’ll see he is more concerned about protecting himself and FIFA than protecting Qatar.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Sepp Blatter comments that it is racism is disgraceful beyond belief and shows that he and FIFA are losing the argument. His cowardly use of racism insults those that suffer from racism on a daily basis, some of those people live and work in Qatar and also goes back to his claim that racism on the pitch should be handled by a handshake after the game.

Blatter’s game is now to deflect attention away from FIFA, while securing the presidency and it’s money making activities. There is no card too low for this man to play.
If Blatter wants to show how innocent he is, he should do the following.
1. Have an independent inquiry into FIFA’s businss over the last 10 years. (Not one sanctioned by FIFA themselves)
2. Publish his bank accounts for the last 10 years, show his clean hands.
3. Publish the salaries and benefits of all FIFA employees
4. Publish who voted for whomn in 2018 and 2022. No secret ballot by a small number of FIFA Exco members.

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

1 and 4 – agreed. I think 2 and 3 are not feasible. His bank accounts are a private matter, and should only be revealed under a criminal investigation. I would limit the salaries and benefits to the FIFA executive.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago

still waiting to see actual proof.. so far just speculation unless you count bin hammam and even then there is no proof that his action had anything to do with qatars bid

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago

I don’t think there has been any accusation that the bid committee has done anything untoward. This will affect Qatar – if taken away as a whole. But then maybe the finger pointing by Qataris should be at Bin Hammam if it is deemed he has done something wrong by putting them in this uneviable position.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

seems to me like its wrong to blame the country because of one man who as far as can be prooven acted alone, very irresponsible media

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

Then at least Qatar should go after him, to show the world that it’s not acceptable what he did and that there wasn’t an organized effort to cheat. It won’t be enough to simply say, we didn’t cheat. And a lot of damage can be done without solid proof if no strong defense (or reaction) is put forward

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

did he break any laws in qatar?

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

that’s not really the question is it, if someone goes about doing dodgy business seemingly on your behalf and it ends up causing you harm, you can’t say oh well he didn’t do anything while he was in my house

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

im not very familiar with international law so please correct me if im wrong bur, surely we can condemn his actions but i dont think there is anything we can “go after” and arrest him for. i do agree that we need to distance ourselfs from him

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

I’m no lawyer either, just feel like more could be done, if possible to show that Qatar behaved in an honest way, or expose his actions and single him out. If he’s dodgy and they’re clean, serve him up as a scapegoat

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Maybe he once drove on the hard shoulder, drove over the speed limit and flashy flashy, didnt indicate, undertook, failed to give way? Or maybe he posted something on Doha News that loveitorleaveit didnt like? ;-0

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

there is proof, that’s why he was taken away from the crime scene in a NY minute!

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

what proof? please send me a link to the article stating any evidence that his action were in any way organised or encouraged by qatar

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

I pasted a link, but it appears to have slipped into the Doha Triangle.

Let’s try again

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27652181

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

where? read the article just says they have emails didnt actually show any of em

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

to be president of FIFA since 1998 it means he must have his feet in many many shoes….football is corrupted.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I think it is a bit disingenious to say he had nothing to do with Qatar’s bid, he was never on the offical bid team but he held the highest Football Association position in Qatar and was the Asian VP for FIFA. Plus he also used the resources of Qatar’s government in his role. If he was not trying to influence other members of FIFA then he was not doing his job as Qatar’s highest representatives at FIFA! The question is how he try to influence the others members and was it allowed with in the rules of bidding nations.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

none of that is hard evidence that he was acting under the instructions of the qatari government to bribe anyone for the WC

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

1. So what exactly constitutes “hard evidence” in your book?
2. The sponsors aren’t really going to care about evidence.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

1. any correspodance showing qatari officials asking bin hamam to bribe people, a paper trail showing qatari autharities paying FIFA dudes etc. so far we know bin hamam bribed people for to getter a higher position for himself which he was banned for done deal wt els is new?
2. no but they didnt want it in qatar in the first place

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
6 years ago

1. Well of course there’s not going to be a letter from the Qatar World Cup committee saying please Bin Hamman can you bribe so and so for us……….
But if you remember they did praise Bin Hamman for being a vital part of the team securing the hosting rights!
Now obviously they are trying to distance themselves…
And there is a paper trail of him paying off people in order to secure their votes, to think that he did this from his own wallet is a bit naive

2. Well the sponsors don’t really care about where it is held! All they care about is getting their brand promoted to as many people as possible and to have their brand associated with the World Cup.
Now if the World Cup starts get embroiled with allegations of bribery and wrong doing, do you really think the sponsors will want their names associated with that? No…
It has nothing to do with them not wanting it here as it doesn’t matter where its played people will still watch it!

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Turbohampster

Compared to the other bidding nations – Australia, Japan, South Korea and the US – Qatar has a relatively undeveloped market for consumer brands, Reuters notes.
“None of the sponsors would want it to be held in Qatar,” said David Peters, managing director of marketing company Dentsu Aegis Network Sport & Entertainment.

according to this article they do care, maybe its more than just people watching on tv, you can probably promote alot better from a major city with several million than from doha

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
6 years ago

Ok Fair enough looks like I was wrong on that point then 🙂

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

If the sponsors really don’t want Qatar and are willing to actively push for a change that’s pretty bad. They’re paying FIFA so they could indirectly lobby to force Blatter out and present sufficient reasonable doubt in how the bid was won to warrant a new vote

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
6 years ago

It doesn’t mattery if he was acting on the orders of the Qatari government, Thor, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If the process was corrupted by Bin Hamman, the Qatari bid is flawed.

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
6 years ago

Surely simplest way out of this mess for all, is for Qatar to keep the World Cup in 2022 as they are already preparing to host it. Then award these other nations who lost out in the bidding, organise the subsequent tournaments without having to go through the expensive bid process again, ie Australia 2026, England 2030 and Japan 2034, etc. That should allow FIFA to have their house in order and be able to propose a more transparent bidding process. FIFA might have to do without a few luxuries and junkets for a few years, but might be the best for the game.

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
6 years ago

In a way, it is a pity that Qatar is the only country feeling the brunt of this controversy. Russia basically has the same faults as Qatar (Bribing FIFA members, human rights violations, and hiring and mistreatment of its expatriate labor force) and yet we don’t hear anyone complaining about them.

Reading an article in The Telegraph, I think it is high time that they implement this proposed new rule to Qatar and Russia. Both countries has to improve their labor and human right to really deserve the privilege of hosting the world cup. Its positive for everyone except for those who really doesn’t want Qatar to host because its hot….

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

No one is going after Russia because it’s not very wise to upset Mr. Putin

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Journalists who report negatively on Russia tend to disappear.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8
Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

russians arent arabs so its wrong to call them out on what they do wrong 😛

Kingpin
Kingpin
6 years ago

Garcia is investigating the 2018 Russian bid too. The Russians have years of experience of international “negotiations”, so they were probably a lot subtler than bin hammam,I mean using your football chief to negotiate natural gas deals!!!!!!!

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingpin

i was referring to the media not the official investigation, for every time the gaurdian, telegraphy etc mentions Russia they will mention qatar 3 times

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Wouldn’t surprise me if the Russians were the actual target – Weren’t they competing against England for the 2018 bid? Qatar may just be an easier proxy in the (real) global game.

Rienz
Rienz
6 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

Some people are jealous of Qatar’s prosperity and a smaller country is easier to target than a nuclear powered country like Russia that is also known to make “unfriendly” jurnos disappear for good.

Ivan Brendieswski
Ivan Brendieswski
6 years ago
Reply to  Rienz

Most people know nothing of Qatar’s so-called ‘prosperity’ and can’t differentiate it from Dubai or any of the other Persian Gulf dictatorships. All they know is what they read in the papers.

David
David
6 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

Follow @changefifa on Twitter. Brazil and Russia are facing just as much criticism as Qatar. Additionally Russia was constantly bring criticized in the run up to and during the Winter Olympics. With the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and then the 2018 World Cup in Russia there will continue to be no shortage of articles being critical of those countries.

Interestingly I read that if they were to rerun the 2022 vote they would pretty much be forced to rerun the 2018 vote as they happened at the same time. Not sure if that us true or if they could work around that, but something to keep in mind when it comes to whether they will rerun the vote or take the World Cup away.

Paul
Paul
6 years ago

More interesting is to see how the sponsors will react when (hopefully not) more damaging news get published.
Actually, maybe Qatar could do it without sponsors..? 🙂

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul

The sponsorship money doesn’t come to Qatar – FIFA keeps it…

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

I think he meant Qatar pay the sponsorship fees directly to FIFA (as the sponsors do) and hold the WC without sponsors (or maybe QF & QA as sponsors?)

Paul
Paul
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Yup. But don’t forget that sponsors also benefit from this world watched event. As long as the expected sales, as a direct result from advertisement, outweighs the loss in sales due to brand image damage; sponsors won’t withdraw.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony, Visa — pay a combined $177.125 million annually as sponsorship. All that money goes to FIFA, which will stand to make about $4 billion in revenue for the event (a mix of sponsorship income and broadcast rights). Of those top tier sponsors, every one of them except Emirates has now come out with a statement about corruption at FIFA.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

Aha, it seems Mr. Blatter has finally received his overdue payments. I was surprised to read Budweiser is a sponsor

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Have been for a long time

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

open the dictionary and search FIFA = mafia, (synonymous) the Mob, Blatter, i.e. mafioso

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
6 years ago

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” -Adolf Hitler

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

“Just because you issue denials, shout racism, without ever pursuing your claim in court against those you allege have libeled you does not make the allegations untrue.” – Me

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Doesn’t make them true either, innocent until proven guilty.

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
6 years ago

Kind of does…

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

No but lack of action is probably the worst defense in such cases

Ano
Ano
6 years ago

innocent until proven guilty …but in this part of the world, its guilty until proven innocent…

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

Innocent until proven guilty is not the legal standpoint in Qatar!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Exactly…”We did not bribe anyone, We did not bribe anyone, We did not bribe anyone, We did not bribe anyone”….Ohh I believe you.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

It’s more like “They bribed ! They bribed ! They bribed ! but we don’t have any evidence to prove it, because you know .. we lost the bid and that’s the best we can do to get it back from these [Insert racist/Islamophobic word here].”

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

The truth will set you free. Although given your constant paranoia Im unsure it will. Or it may just be immaturity. Look objectively at life and you may actually find it easier. No one person nor one country is perfect, so perhaps admission that Qatar does not do some things right might relieve all your anger resentment and paranoia. If you look further down this thread you may find some links that suggest there is fire amongst the smoke. Be objective and say, oh maybe someone from Qatar has done the wrong thing here, lets see what the investigation brings, instead of we are perfect you are all racists attitude. For what its worth I have been monitoring Australia’s bid, and it appears some of our representatives have acted inappropriately according to the press and Garcia, I can admit it, and say if they have then lets investigate and charge them under Australian law. What I don’t say is… ohh no we didnt do it, the world is picking on us because we have BBQs, drink beer, wear shorts and singlets and everyone hates us because we have lots of gas, some oil, heaps of iron ore, eat lamingtons, love to pick on Kiwis and the majority of us are atheists or agnostic.

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

Except they have already found $5mil worth of evidence…
I find it pretty hypocritical that people such as yourself play the racism card to try and deflect the story. When everything in Qatar from your salary to wether you are allowed in the mall is based on the colour of your skin/passport

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Well said…..

ex_pat
ex_pat
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

I could not agree more with this. First of all, the suggestion that the Sunday Times report is racist, is simply preposterous.

As an ex-Doha resident, I had reservations about certain aspects of life in Qatar, but as a guest, respected these, even if I didn’t necessarily agree. Eventually, I voted with my feet and left, as I didn’t feel comfortable. Lots of people quite literally don’t have that option.

I actually believe that Qatar / Middle East needs the World Cup, and think they’d do a good job if they got the infrastructure etc. sorted – but for FIFA (and it is FIFA) to hide behind this suggestion that the west (and the UK in particular) is racist towards Qatar / Africa is outrageous.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”
–Mark Twain.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago

For those screaming racism, there is plenty of criticism thrown Brazil’s way too. By that logic, people who prefer to “carry out business with integrity” are not only anti-Arab, they’re also anti-Portugese-speaking-South-American as well. Exhibit A: http://www.businessinsider.com/john-oliver-fifa-2014-6. Fair warning: this is thirteen minutes of pure comic gold that you will want to share with your friends.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Only halfway through and already crying with laughter, this is genius, thanks

Ahmed A
Ahmed A
6 years ago

Has anyone seen the Times article? I am wondering what proof do they have, because all I could see is proof of arranging a bunch of meetings with high ranking officials in Qatar. I am not sure how that is proof of bribery. Seems more to show that our top guys are aligned with the bid.

Has the newspaper shown proof of money transfers etc? Seems that would be a smoking gun if they would just show that.

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
6 years ago
Reply to  Ahmed A

Yes they have…

Ahmed A
Ahmed A
6 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

Yes they have… what? 🙂

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
6 years ago
Reply to  Ahmed A

Shown proof of money transfers – that’s the point – there are dozens of them…

Ahmed A
Ahmed A
6 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

Can you send through the article link showing those please. Thanks.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Ahmed A

This article sums it up as well as any other

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27652181

Qatar World Cup: ‘£3m payments to officials’ corruption claim

Fifa is facing fresh allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The Sunday Times has obtained millions of secret documents – emails, letters and bank transfers – which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling US$5m (£3m) to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid.

Qatar 2022 and Bin Hammam have always strenuously denied the former Fifa vice-president actively lobbied on their behalf in the run-up to the vote in December 2010.

But, according to emails obtained by the Sunday Times and seen by the BBC, it is now clear that Bin Hammam, 65, was lobbying on his country’s behalf at least a year before the decision.

The documents also show how Bin Hammam was making payments directly to football officials in Africa to allegedly buy their support for Qatar in the contest.

Qatar strongly denies any wrongdoing and insists that Bin Hammam never had any official role supporting the bid and always acted independently from the Qatar 2022 campaign.

When approached by the Sunday Times to respond to their claims, Bin Hammam’s son Hamad Al Abdulla declined to comment on his behalf.

Although the vast majority of the officials did not have a vote, the Sunday Times alleges Bin Hammam’s strategy was to win a groundswell of support for the Qatari bid which would then influence the four African Fifa executive committee members who were able to take part in the election.

The Sunday Times also alleges that it has documents which prove Bin Hammam paid 305,000 Euros (£250,000) to cover the legal expenses of another former Fifa executive committee member from Oceania, Reynald Temarii.

Temarii, from Tahiti, was unable to vote in the contest as he had already been suspended by Fifa after he was caught out by a Sunday Times sting asking bogus American bid officials for money in return for his support.

But the paper now alleges that Bin Hammam provided him with financial assistance to allow him to appeal against the Fifa suspension, delaying his removal from the executive committee and blocking his deputy David Chung from voting in the 2022 election.

The paper claims that had Chung been allowed to vote he would have supported Qatar’s rivals Australia. Instead there was no representative from Oceania allowed to vote, a decision which may have influenced the outcome in Qatar’s favour.

The paper also makes fresh allegations about the relationship between Bin Hammam and his disgraced Fifa ally Jack Warner, from Trinidad.

Although Warner was forced to resign as a Fifa vice-president in 2011, after it was proved he helped Bin Hammam bribe Caribbean football officials in return for their support in his bid to oust the long-standing Fifa president Sepp Blatter, the paper says it has evidence which shows more than $1.6m was paid by Bin Hammam to Warner, including $450,000 in the period before the vote.

The new allegations will place Fifa under fresh pressure to re-run the vote for the 2022 World Cup, which was held in conjunction with the vote for the 2018 tournament, in which England were eliminated in the first round with just two votes.

Fifa’s chief investigator Michael Garcia is already conducting a long-running inquiry into allegations of corruption and wrongdoing during the 2018/22 decisions. He is due to meet senior officials from the Qatar 2022 organising committee in Oman on Monday.

But that meeting may now have to be postponed in light of the Sunday Times revelations which have raised important new questions about the link between Bin Hammam and the successful Qatari World Cup campaign.

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Thanks Michael – saved me a reply there 🙂

Ahmed A
Ahmed A
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Thanks for that. It will be interesting as to the outcome. But what I find crazy is that it just takes $5m to buy a world cup. Seems ridiculous that $200k a person would get you the vote.

I mean if Qatar got to win thanks to $5m then there cant be much corruption in FIFA, or at least the total $ amount is minimal.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Ahmed A

Its all relative. 100 Riyal aint much to me, but to a labourer on a building site its a weeks wages.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Ahmed A

Short answer is Yes. There is abundant proof that he paid millions to various FIFA officials. What hasn’t been proved is that this was done with the promise/expectation of votes for Qatar 2022.

The Qatar 2022 bid team has always denied any connection with bin Hammam, insisting he was an “entirely separate” individual. The FIFA files chart his movements as he flew around the world, often on the emir’s private jet, meeting in secret with Exco members whose votes propelled Qatar to its victory. The FIFA files overflow with astonishing revelations, including details of how bin Hammam secured the support of Exco’s African members, who were crucial to Qatar’s success.

Using cash handouts and bank transfers from 10 slush funds controlled by his private company, bin Hammam made dozens of payments to the presidents of more than 30 national football associations who held sway over Africa’s votes.

To secure pledges of support from men he called his African “brothers” — and one formidable woman known as West Africa’s “Iron Lady” — he handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and transferred sums of bet­ween $US10,000 and $US200,000 into bank accounts.

He invited African delegations to a string of junkets in luxury hotels and showered them with gifts, lucrative benefits, private jet travel and extraordinary hospitality.

And he exploited his position as chairman of FIFA’s Goal Program, which funds football development in poor countries, to channel $US1.2 million into football federations of three key African Exco voters.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Yet more comments have disappeared into the Doha Triangle….

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Maybe you could help me out. I was arguing with my friend what the FIFA acroynm stands for but we couldn’t agree. I said it stood for Lying, Cheating, money grabbing b&*&^*ds and he said it stood for Dishonourable, Conviving, fraudster tw*ts.

Does anyone know?

LJ
LJ
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Federation of illegitimate f@@king @ssholes

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Sepp Blatter comments that it is racism is disgraceful beyond belief and shows that he and FIFA are losing the argument. His cowardly use of racism insults those that suffer from racism on a daily basis, some of those people live and work in Qatar and also goes back to his claim that racism on the pitch should be handled by a handshake after the game.
Blatter’s game is now to deflect attention away from FIFA, while securing the presidency and it’s money making activities. There is no card too low for this man to play.
If Blatter wants to show how innocent he is, he should do the following.
1. Have an independent inquiry into FIFA’s businss over the last 10 years. (Not one sanctioned by FIFA themselves)
2. Publish his bank accounts for the last 10 years, show his clean hands.
3. Publish the salaries and benefits of all FIFA employees
4. Publish who voted for whomn in 2018 and 2022. No secret ballot by a small number of FIFA Exco members.

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Hang on….didn’t I reply to this one already?

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
6 years ago

This looks like curtains – it’s incredibly unusual for sponsors to get involved unless, by association, the issue is tarnishing their brands’ reputations somehow. They all need to demand more however – I don’t think Blatter can “close” this matter if the independent investigator refuses to consider a huge body of relevant evidence and there continues to be significant noise from the whole world. I would suggest it is naive for him to say that he can.

Bin Hamam was hugely involved in the bid btw – there is coverage of Sh. Mohd. saying that Bin Hamam is/was Qatar’s biggest asset in its bid for the World Cup.

Masboro
Masboro
6 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

There is no way that the World Cup will be taken away from Qatar. The sponsors are just trying to ensure that they are seen to be ‘doing the right thing’ and no ‘smoking gun’ linking the Qatar bid directly to corruption will be found. FIFA is one of the most ‘opaque’ organisations in world sport and that didn’t deter the sponsors from getting onboard.

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
6 years ago
Reply to  Masboro

Agreed, but that was at a time when FIFA was adept at keeping this type of scandal under wraps. They are no longer so adept, and this particular scandal is now very much out in the open, and unless FIFA is seen to be acting in a fully transparent and meaningful way, and is seen to take the right action against corruption in the light of such a weight of documented evidence, these sponsors will take their money and walk. And so they should. Why should they associate their brands with this sham at the expense of the aspirations of billions of football fans? The longer this goes on, the more damage will be done to these brands – get out now would be my advice.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

The sponsors have to work in many places with varying degrees of human rights and in the interest of their shareholders they have to make the best of it. Qatar wanted to improve workers rights they would have abolished the Kafala. It will never happen. But no sponsor wants to be associated with bribery and corruption, so to them it is more important.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago

The football World Cup of 2022 will not be held in Qatar. I know it. You know it. FIFA knows it. Qatar knows it.
Sepp Blatter is just earning his money by putting a brave face on it for as long as he can, but the end result is inevitable.
The moral(s) of this whole sorry saga are:

‘There are no short cuts in life’
‘The Truth Will Out’
‘Money cannot buy you everything’

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

The truth will out! Hahahahaha

A Jones
A Jones
6 years ago

First, I doubt any of the bidders are snow white and they probably all offered incentives when they thought it would affect the outcome. Second, Sepp Blatter has to be the most odious, hypocrite on the planet. Third, I for one welcome the World Cup coming to Qatar. So they may not have the footballing culture and infrastructure yet but anyone can see they love the sport and should be given the chance to prove they can host the biggest tournament on the planet. If and when its a huge success people will be quick to jump on the bandwaggon heaping praise. Fourth, most countries utilise foreign labour and its not always perfect but lets not forget, the media can manipulate a story and take things out of context, e.g. they mention the deaths, but how many people flood here to work. Statistically if they make up a larger percentage of the work force, they will account for more injuries and fatalities. Finally, I’m from England and hoped we would get the World Cup but I have no resentment or bitterness. I look forward to the tournament in 8 years and genuinely hope it will be a huge success and shut the detractors up. I still cant stand Blatter though, sorry!

LJ
LJ
6 years ago
Reply to  A Jones

You should try getting yourself down to the Industrial area labour camps and onto some of the projects around Doha before you start claiming media manipulation pal! Accident and Incident Frequency Rate statistics are generally measured against hours worked, i.e per 100,000, 200,000, 1,000,000 hrs depending where in the world you hail from. As an HSE professional that left last month after spending 5 years in Qatar i can assure you that the Stats in Qatar DO NOT compare favourably with those of developed nations.

A Jones
A Jones
6 years ago
Reply to  LJ

So if you are so moralistic and hate it so much then leave PAL. If you’re happy to take the salary then you’re no better than the rest of us. Hypocrite.

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago
Reply to  A Jones

He/she just said that they did leave.

Shabina921
Shabina921
6 years ago
Reply to  A Jones

Please avoid name-calling. The conversation has been progressing pretty civilly so far, and we’d like to keep it that way.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  A Jones

Can’t you read? He said he left last month.

A Jones
A Jones
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Fair point but it took him five years to see the light!

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  A Jones

See response above 🙂

LJ
LJ
6 years ago
Reply to  A Jones

I’m not being moralistic, merely stating the facts. As i did originally post i left last month to take up a new challenge. Where in my response did i say i hated it? I did a job, and i have to say I’m very proud of the job i did. I trained, educated and drove the implementation of improved HSE standards on my project and workers camps , and more importantly the quality of life of the the workforce on it. We don’t seek gratification or publicity, thats just what Health and Safety professionals do.Myself and my family would have loved to have stayed in Qatar but oh, irony of ironies we couldn’t, as my contract had finished and hey guess what…my company wouldn’t grant me an NOC…!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  A Jones

You should also get yourself to Qatar Stars League game and see all the fans ….like all ten of them.

smd
smd
6 years ago

It is ironic that on one hand FIFA give credence to these
bribery allegation and possibility of misconduct via conducting a full
investigation. Then in parallel and prior to any findings, FIFA are stating
this is all about racism, thus completing ignoring the seriousness and validity
of their investigation in the first place?? All very telling!!

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

Looks like the curtain is finally coming down on Septic Blatter with UEFA and a number of FIFA officials now calling for him to resign, and not just the English FA (for those who think we are the only ones complaining).
Didn’t the cretin himself say something pretty racist only a couple of years ago?
With regards the the other comments, before the bid the Qatari officials said how Bin Hamman was an integral part of the bid. So to now say he had nothing to do with it seems a little silly.
Then you have Russia, the masters of bribery and cover ups. They are just experienced at it compared to Qatar and have left no paper trails hence why they are not being mentioned as much.

smd
smd
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Seems people think
they need to link Bin Hamman with Qatar’s bid.

However, this is a
moot point, as in reality the only thing that matters was whether the FIFA bid
was tainted and influenced through Bribery by Bin Hamman or others,
irrespective of whether Bin Hamman was or wasn’t “officially or
unofficially” part of the Qatar bid 😉

If and when a tainted FIFA
bid is confirmed, then there should be a revote irrespective of who did what
and for what reasons. Just hope Mr Garcia is as thorough as he is made out to
be!!!

muttley
muttley
6 years ago

I hope Qatar keep the right to host the World Cup but I also hope that FIFA are disbanded and a new organisation established to monitor world football. I suspect most countries have in one form or another tried to influence the voting procedure, the sole blame is FIFA if they then take that bribe. For Blatter to claim there is racism involved is ridiculous and not something a man in his position should be saying. He’s trying to deflect blame for his incompetent handling of the situation. I’m white and I’m blaming a white man! and I do believe that is what the British press is doing.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

He only wants another term because he knows when he loses his power loads will “out” him as totally corrupt.
Remember this is a man who claimed there is no racism in football! They fine countries 16,000 pounds for racist chanting but then fine an individual footballer 80,000 pounds for wearing the wrong underpants.

Shiyan
Shiyan
6 years ago

why should sponsors be allowed to decide on where the FIFA has decided to have the game? Anyways even if these sponsors withdraw, Qatar has plenty of companies who will sponsor such an event!

muttley
muttley
6 years ago

The Royal High Excellency, Grand High Supreme Emperor Blatter and custodian of the sacred $1 Billion dollar slush fund of FIFA should resign as he is responsible for the conduct of his representatives.

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