From the Gulf through Asia: More on FIFA World Cup Corruption and GCC Rifts……


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“The account of a 10-year-old daughter of a FIFA executive was pumped with $3.4 million, according to a report by The Telegraph on Friday, raising more questions over the finances of the officials who awarded Russia and Qatar the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Antonia Wigand Teixeira, the daughter of the Brazilian representative of the FIFA executive committee, had reportedly received the money in 2011. Her father Ricardo, part of the committee which helped select the World Cup host nation………… A statement issued by lawyers acting for the Qatar bid said the payment from Mr. Rosell to Mr. Teixeira had nothing to do with the country’s bid for the 2022 World Cup…………”

Saudi semi-official Alarabiya network is headlining this one, which tells me Saudi-Qatari relations have not improved as much as recent reports claimed. GCC media yesterday headlined reports about healing the rift between the ruling potentates of the two countrie: these were apparently just wishful thinking by Saudi allies. Which tells me something else: even if they manage to patch the holes temporarily with chewing gum, the dam will leak and burst again.

Apparently corruption and international sports go closely together. From the Salt Lake City (Utah) Winter Olympics to the Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain to the FIFA World Cup games in Qatar (and maybe Russia and beyond). Then there were the selection of the leaders of Asian Sports Federations. The president of the Asian Football (Soccer) Confederation used to be a Qatari and is now a Bahraini shaikh named Salman Al Khalifa, of course. Now I wonder how many millions was paid by each country to corrupt Asian Confederation officials in order to secure the position to their potentate. 

Silly me, I had thought these countries won such exalted positions on merit, even if they had never won championships. I suspect this has been going on for decades, but the scale has grown too heavy to be kept a secret. Before the era of petroleum oligarchs and petroleum potentates in the Middle East and other places maybe the amounts of money were small, too small to be decisive. Now, many millions can be spent on buying international sports decisions.