Qatar: Bribery Allegations for 2022 World Cup Bid Spur Probe
The Sunday Times has reported that it received millions of leaked documents allegedly proving that Qatar won the 2022 World Cup bid because of bribery.
The State of Qatar—an oil- and natural gas-rich Arab emirate bordering Saudi Arabia— beat out South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to host the 2022 World Cup.
Organizers of the 2022 World Cup are meeting with Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) investigator Michael Garcia to look into the corruption allegations, reports BBC.
Although the 2022 bid committee in Qatar denies wrongdoing, FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce says he would support further investigation and potentially a revote for the bid.
He told BBC’s Sportsweek program, "I certainly, as a member of the executive committee, would have absolutely no problem whatsoever if the recommendation was for a re-vote.”
The corruption allegations center on 65-year-old Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari construction businessman, former FIFA official, and the ex-president of the Asian Football Confederation.
The Sunday Times is accusing Bin Hammam of spending US$ 5 million on bribing senior FIFA officials and 30 African football associations. Some of the implicated accounts are allegedly controlled by Jack Warner, a former FIFA vice president.
This is not Bin Hammam’s first soccer-related corruption case.
According to the BBC, after being found guilty of attempted bribery, he was banned from the sport for life in 2011. The ban was annulled one year later due to a lack of evidence.
However, the Qatari businessman received a second FIFA ban in 2012, this time for his conflict of interest while serving as the president of the Asian Football Confederation.
Bin Hammam has denied any wrongdoing.
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will run from June 12 to July 13. According to ESPN, commercial revenues are expected to bring in about US$ 4 billion.