Millions paid in bribes for Qatar's 2022 World Cup votes, report claims

Joss

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Millions paid in bribes for Qatar's 2022 World Cup votes, report claims

• Financial deals allegedly arranged in exchange for votes
• Qatar strongly denies claims as 'entirely false'



Qatar has denied allegations that it paid for World Cup votes.​

Qatar's controversial success in taking the 2022 World Cup to the desert was propelled by millions of dollars in bribes, according to previously unpublished conversations key figures connected with Fifa held with undercover reporters.

In evidence published on Tuesday under parliamentary privilege by the select committee on football governance, the Sunday Times alleges that Michel Zen-Ruffinen, a former secretary general of Fifa, introduced the reporters to a certain Amadou Diallo. Zen-Ruffinen is said to have claimed that Qatar was "using Diallo to arrange financial deals with the African [Fifa executive committee] members in exchange for World Cup votes".

Diallo is said to have been a senior staff member in the entourage of Issa Hayatou, the Confederation of African Football's president. Ismail Bhamjee, himself a former member of the Fifa executive committee, was allegedly more explicit in his dialogue with the undercover reporters.

According to the letter sent by the Sunday Times to John Whittingdale, the chairman of the select committee inquiry into football governance, Bhamjee explained that some of Africa's current and former representatives on the Fifa executive committee had previously sold their votes. "Bhamjee said … Issa Hayatou of Cameroon, Slim Aloulou of Tunisia and Amadou Diakite of the Ivory Coast had each been paid for their votes by Morocco when it was bidding against South Africa in the contest for the 2010 World Cup."

Bhamjee is directly quoted in the letter as saying: "I'm told the Africans will get … anything from a quarter to half a million dollars," in reference to alleged payments from the Qatar bid to African executive committee members. Asked to clarify whether that money was to invest in football or for them personally, Bhamjee reportedly replied: "No, no, no, no. This is on top. This is separate from the football."

Damian Collins, a Conservative MP on the select committee, put these allegations to Mike Lee, a strategic communications consultant to the Qatar 2022 bid who was appearing as a witness. Lee responded: "I was working at the highest level of that bid and talking at length with the chairman and CEO and saw no evidence of any of these allegations.

"My experience is I would have had a sense if such things were going on and I had no sense of that."

On Tuesday night the Qatar Football Association issued a statement in which they said they "categorically deny" the allegations. "As the Sunday Times itself states, these accusations 'were and remain unproven'. They will remain unproven, because they are false," it said.

Specifically the Sunday Times claims that Diakite, the former Fifa executive committee member who remained intimately involved in the Fifa machine, talked about $1m (£611,000) to $1.2m payments for "projects by Qatar in return for their 2022 vote".

The newspaper says it highlighted these several allegations to Fifa in its own submission to the governing body. It comments: "Fifa does not appear to have pursued any of these matters."

A London law firm hired by the Qatar bid has strongly denied the allegations, calling them "entirely false". However the Sunday Times's letter said that it had separately spoken to "a whistleblower who had worked with the Qatar bid". That individual is said further to have claimed that Hayatou and his fellow executive committee member from the Ivory Coast, Jacques Anouma, had received $1.5m from Qatar "to secure their votes".

It added: "The cash was to go to the three members' football federations but there would be no questions asked about how the money was used." It quoted the whistleblower as saying: "Basically if they took it into their pocket we don't give a jack."

Millions paid in bribes for Qatar's 2022 World Cup votes, report claims | Football | The Guardian
 

Redrup

One Nerdy Gamer
Jan 10, 2009
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Wouldn't surprise me at all if this was the truth to be quite honest, it was my first instinct when I saw Qatar being pulled out of that envelope.
 

sunilvk7

SAF greatest ever.
Dec 16, 2008
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It was obvious that Qatar payed **** loads of money. Dont know how much did Blatter receive..

Sad thing is that guy from Qatar will contest against Blatter. Lose-Lose situation for all football lovers..
 
Aug 1, 2009
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It's obvious there were bribes involved - I think the Qatari football federation (or whatever their FA's called) paid millions to their cash-strapped Argentinian counterparts.
 

Brian

Shelbourne Researcher
Feb 14, 2010
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This could be the start of the taking appart of Fifa!!!
Doubt it as most people knows Fifa has been corrupt ever since Stanley Rous lost the power (was corrupt beforehand but he still made the main decisions and he wasnt corrupt). Joao Havelange started it to make money for himself and the federation and it has spiralled out of control. The only way to become president is to buy off more members than the other person running
 

Ben

I am a biased ****.
Jan 21, 2009
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Unsurprising tbh. I'd have been massively shocked if they never paid for votes.
 

curtis290

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Thought there was a thread already on it but this is a more credible source.

Of course something like this happened, because the only other possibility is that they voted for it because they thought it was a good idea, which is obviously impossible.

What ****** me off is when I talked about bribes earlier people all dismissed me and said that there was nothing proven. Well I'm sorry, I don't care if they manage to prove anything, there is no way in **** this happened cleanly. No way in **** England only got one vote and people actually chose Qatar over the US and Australia. It will be the worst World Cup in history by far. It will do nothing for the game in Qatar since they're getting rid of the stadiums, the host team will get blown out (they don't have a chance at qualifying out of any group), and it will be the most unenjoyable month imaginable for the fans. There is a reason that there is no tourism in Qatar. There's plenty of it in the UAE, which would be the obvious choice if you wanted a cup in the Middle East, but no one goes to Qatar.
 

Mads2506

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Apr 25, 2011
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I normally do not believe in any conspiracies, but I can't help but think there may actually have been corruption. I mean, how can you pick Qatar over England? And I doubt the English just make up stories just because they lost.

Sigh... at least Brazil gets the world cup in 2014.
 
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Jack Fulham

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Nov 30, 2008
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Worth noting that Triesman is a Lord of the land. Putting his reputation on the line with these allegations. You wouldn't think he'd be wrong.
 

Mike.

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Feb 15, 2009
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Worth noting that Triesman is a Lord of the land. Putting his reputation on the line with these allegations. You wouldn't think he'd be wrong.
he wont have done this lightly and there is secondary evidence from the Times too

---------- Post added at 10:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:54 PM ----------

Thought there was a thread already on it but this is a more credible source.

Of course something like this happened, because the only other possibility is that they voted for it because they thought it was a good idea, which is obviously impossible.

What ****** me off is when I talked about bribes earlier people all dismissed me and said that there was nothing proven. Well I'm sorry, I don't care if they manage to prove anything, there is no way in **** this happened cleanly. No way in **** England only got one vote and people actually chose Qatar over the US and Australia. It will be the worst World Cup in history by far. It will do nothing for the game in Qatar since they're getting rid of the stadiums, the host team will get blown out (they don't have a chance at qualifying out of any group), and it will be the most unenjoyable month imaginable for the fans. There is a reason that there is no tourism in Qatar. There's plenty of it in the UAE, which would be the obvious choice if you wanted a cup in the Middle East, but no one goes to Qatar.
Curtis, whether we believed it was dodgy was one thing, you cant go round damning everyone without some actual credible evidence. As it turns out some might actually turn up. But since FIFA will be investigating itself I wont hold my breath
 

Jack Fulham

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Yes, you'd think they'd get independant tribunal would investigate rather than FIFA itself. Joke of an organisation.
 

Mike.

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Staff member
Feb 15, 2009
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Yes, you'd think they'd get independant tribunal would investigate rather than FIFA itself. Joke of an organisation.
European Union turns up the heat on Fifa to tackle bribery claims
• Hugh Robertson says clean-up will be 'key priority' for EU
• Sports minister wants action over World Cup bid process


European Union turns up the heat on Fifa to tackle bribery claims | Football | The Guardian

Owen Gibson
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 11 May 2011 22.26 BST


The European Union is to make reforming Fifa a "key priority" as pressure from governments around the world for a fundamental overhaul of world football's governing body grew in the wake of fresh allegations of bribery and corruption during the World Cup bidding process.

As Fifa promised to investigate claims from the former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman that four Fifa executive committee members asked for money or honours in return for their vote, and further claims made in the Sunday Times that two more accepted bribes of $1.5m (£900,000) from Qatar, the Conservative sports minister insisted pressure on the organisation would increase significantly.

Hugh Robertson said an international consensus was forming that Fifa should be made to reform in the way the International Olympic Committee was forced to change after the Salt Lake City scandal in 1999. Then, 10 IOC members were expelled or forced to resign over allegations of vote-buying during Salt Lake City's winning bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

"I would like to see really concerted pressure from international bodies to get them to reform," said Robertson. "We're pretty wound up about it, the Dutch [and] the Australians are pretty wound up and there are a number of others."

He said finding a way to force Fifa to reform would be one of the "key objectives" for Poland, which takes over the running of the EU Council from July. "Cleaning up and reforming international sports institutions is a key objective of the Polish presidency for next year," he said. "If the commission take an interest, if whatever country is holding the presidency takes an interest, if we can sustain that for more than one cycle, then we have a chance. No organisation likes being held up to international ridicule and constantly being told they are corrupt. It's got to be much more transparent. They have got to be much more open and much more transparent."

Sepp Blatter, who is increasingly likely to win a fourth term as Fifa president on 1 June, and his challenger Mohamed Bin Hammam have promised reforms to Fifa's structure and procedures, including the World Cup bidding process. But there remains widespread cynicism about whether they will deliver.

Blatter said the allegations would be dealt with before the body's congress in Zurich in three weeks' time, when the 73-year-old hopes to win another four years as president. "We have to do it very fast," he told al-Jazeera. "We have a Congress to come and have to deal with this matter before the Congress and not just kick it out of the minds of Fifa and [say] we will deal with it afterwards."

"We have to do it now, immediately, and we have three weeks.We must accelerate the movement, whether it is for the good or for the bad."

All four of the executive committee members accused by Triesman have denied wrongdoing. Brazil's long-standing federation chief, Ricardo Teixeira, described as "absurd" the allegation that he asked Triesman to "come and tell me what you have got for me". Teixeira said he would pursue all possible "legal action against Triesman", although it is unclear how he would do so under English law.

As Fifa demanded evidence relating to the claims made by Triesman under parliamentary privilege, the FA said its general secretary, Alex Horne, had written to the world governing body offering its full assistance.

Fifa said in a statement that its general secretary, Jérôme Valcke, had written to the FA and expressed "extreme concern" at the allegations "questioning the integrity of some Fifa ExCo members in connection with the bidding procedure for the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups".

Bin Hammam, the Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation who played a key role in securing the 2022 World Cup for his country, denied bribes were paid to Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma. "I can assure you nothing like this has happened from our side. If someone wants to damage reputations like this then they have to provide the proof. You can't just accuse people just like that. It didn't happen. It is fine to say something, to try to damage the reputation of somebody but where is the proof?"

In addition to the allegation involving Teixeira, Triesman claimed the Fifa vice-president Jack Warner asked for cash to build an education centre and buy World Cup TV rights for the people of Haiti; that Thailand's Worawi Makudi wanted to be given the TV rights to a friendly between England and Thailand; and that Paraguay's Nicolás Leoz asked for a knighthood.

Warner said he "laughed like ****" at Triesman's claims: "First of all, I laugh like **** because it took those guys from December to now [to say] that I have £2.5m, I believe. I never asked anybody for anything. When these guys came here, we promised to help. I showed them a place where they can put a playground. They promised to come back but they never did. That's all."

Leoz's spokesman called the accusations "pure fantasy and morbid", and a statement issued on behalf of Hayatou, the head of African football, said "he has categorically denied allegations of corruption brought against him before parliament in Britain. "This kind of reporting to create and propagate false information to destroy his reputation, leadership and integrity will not succeed. The president of CAF said all these accusations brought against him are pure invention and an attempt to discredit him."
 

Athe~

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Jan 7, 2011
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It's obvious there were bribes involved - I think the Qatari football federation (or whatever their FA's called) paid millions to their cash-strapped Argentinian counterparts.
It's got nothing to do with most of our FA, it's just Grondona who is as corrupt as they get. It would be no surprise.
 
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