Category Archives: World Cup

FIFA, Bribing Qataris, Bribable Sports Officials, Conspiring Arab Regimes………


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“Senior Fifa figures are for the first time seriously considering the ramifications of ordering a rerun of the vote for the right to stage the 2022 World Cup, in the aftermath of new corruption allegations against the hosts, Qatar.
While awaiting the results of a semi-independent inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 bidding races, senior football figures heading for the 2014 tournament in Brazil are understood to be considering their response if the report recommends a new vote in light of new claims based on hundreds of millions of leaked emails and documents. In Britain, there was a renewed outpouring of concern from politicians and former football executives after the Sunday Times alleged that Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari former Fifa executive committee member, paid $5m (£3m) in cash, gifts and legal fees to senior football officials ……………”

“The Qatari construction magnate Mohamed bin Hammam was in 2011 cast out from his gilded position at the commanding heights of world football’s governing body. His fall closely traces the arc of Fifa’s shattered reputation, and the melting credibility of his country’s 2022 World Cup project. Now the subject of the Sunday Times’s remarkably detailed allegations that he paid lavish bungs to Fifa officials while lobbying them to favour Qatar………………”

doubt in my mind that millions in bribe money changed hands before the FIFA vote. But is that all new: from FIFA to the IOC to Formula One, among others? International sports bodies are rife with corruption and bribery, and they have been so long before Qatar became a household word in Paris. But as I always say: it takes at least two to tango.

There seems to be a trilateral alliance of interests seeking to wrest the FIFA World Cup games away from Qatar. In Britain, media and officials are reviving their old justifiable complaint about how the 2022 venue was chosen. The officials are still sore because London lost to Qatar (well, probably because of the bribes). Besides, British officials of the Cameron cabinet bend backward and forward to please the Saudi princes who are gloating over all this. Saudi media like Alarabiya are covering the controversy with relish, enjoying the embarrassment of their upstart Qatari rivals in the GCC. So is some Egyptian media, mindful of Qatari support of the 2011 revolt against Hosni Mubarak and its close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Other regional countries like Syria (where Qatari potentates support the rebel Jihadists) are also gloating. 
So much for brotherly, or is it sisterly, Arab and GCC relations. The Qataris don’t seem to have many regional allies nowadays. The Saudis and their Bahrain stooges are hostile because Doha thwarts Saudi attempts at hegemony over GCC foreign policy (it is also partly brotherly and sisterly jealousy among the ruling potentates). They have lost the biggest prize, Egypt, to the Saudi princes and Abu Dhabi shaikhs who now have their man Al Sisi in power and call the shots in Cairo. They may lose whatever influence they have in Libya and Tunisia. They have also antagonized Iraq and Syria and Iran.


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