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Report: $5 million in payments made in exchange for Qatar 2022 votes

May 31, 2014, 9:28 PM EDT

Qatar 2022

New allegations of corruption have surfaced around the bid that won Qatar the 2022 World Cup, with England’s Sunday Times reporting that former Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam organized $5,000,000 worth of payments to various officials in exchange for their support. The investigation reports the former Asian confederation president, now banned by FIFA, gave money to African officials, former Tahitian executive committee member Reynald Temarii, as well as former CONCACAF president Jack Warner.

Per the BBC’s summary of the report, the Times’ reporting is based on “millions of secret documents – emails, letters and bank transfers – which it alleges are proof” of Bin Hammam’s corruption. With FIFA’s chief investigator into the 2018 and 2022 votes set to meet with Qatari officials on Monday, this latest report could increase the momentum against the controversial hosts.

From the BBC:

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

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 …

… 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.

This news is less surprising than verifying, perhaps providing FIFA executives with the ammunition they need to call for a re-vote. Whereas there’s already been evidence of brown paper bags full of money being passed around by the Jack Warners of the world, the Times’ investigation puts those brown bags in the hands of somebody actively working with the Qataris. Where there was previously strong suspicion, there may now be proof.

Even it this isn’t the straw, the camel’s back can’t hold much longer. Eventually, and for any number of reasons, the 2022 World Cup is going to be moved from Qatar.

  1. braxtonrob - May 31, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    I’m shocked … they’re getting caught, (not that they did it).

    • dcmorris08 - May 31, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      My thoughts exactly. I thought they had enough money to keep it hush hush.

  2. jrocknstuff - May 31, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    If/when it is finally moved, where do we think the likely home of the 2022 cup would be? England? US/Canada?

    • bruceeff - May 31, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      The other bids for 2022 were from Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the US. I’d imagine the re-vote would go to one of those countries.

      • Sgc - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        Almost certainly it winds up in either the US or Australia.

    • jimmycrackcorn99 - May 31, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      Crazy – when the decision came, everyone assumed (rightly so) that bribes were the only reason for having the event in Qatar in the middle of summer.

      I assume a country where the infrastructure is for the most part already in place will be the most heavily favored, and I simply hope that the forces-that-be are smart about making the right decision, not the politically correct decision.

  3. bellerophon30 - May 31, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    I think it’s so sweet that people think that FIFA will ever admit that it’s wrong. It’s the kind of naivete that used to permeate sports, when we simply thought it was a series of competitions.

    And then I turned 10 years old and woke up.

    • dcmorris08 - May 31, 2014 at 11:26 PM

      Except they already admitted it was a mistake to give them the world cup. Whats funny to me is that they didnt think it was a mistake when there was millions of dollars getting transfered to their bank accounts.

      • bellerophon30 - May 31, 2014 at 11:29 PM

        Shrugging and saying ‘Oh well’ isn’t admitting to a mistake by any reasonable measure.

      • dcmorris08 - May 31, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        Oh no Sepp Blatter stated publicly that it was a mistake. Doesnt really matter, it doesn’t make them any less crooked

    • Sgc - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      Actually there are powerful forces on BOTH sides here. You’re seeing small echoes of a major fight that’s going on behind the scenes and has been since probably even before the vote happened.

  4. jdfsquared - May 31, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    This stuff is all rolling out in the run-up to the WC. All the officials and influential people will be convened in Brazil. It seems as though this will all be decided in the next month and a half in the back rooms and bars of Brazil, and the only thing left will be to determine how to wriggle out of it and break it to the world.

  5. dagetawayman421 - May 31, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Somebody with all the information outed everybody. Very rarely in soccer do they actually catch anyone unless they’re already wiretapping them or somebody outs the rest of their organization. The only reason I can predict Russia losing the 2018 world cup is if it goes to war over Ukraine with other international organizations.

    • Sgc - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Yeah, I assume Russia did the same thing,but they have 75 years worth of KGB experience at covering things up.

  6. lunasceiling - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    Wow, this is really surprising and shocking…

    …said no one, ever.

  7. brimab - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    I think what everyone is missing here is that now the various association representatives get to collect more bribes while deciding where to move it to. It’s a terrific scam.

  8. boroteesside - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    How is it that when the British press produce evidence of corruption for the 2018 world cup its just sour grapes because England failed in winning the bid, yet, when the same press do so for the 2022 world cup (which the US lost in the bidding) its all fact and the host should be changed?

    The 2022 world cup will go ahead in Qatar, this will not change.

    • boroteesside - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      p.s predicting lots of thumbs down coming from US citizens, but don’t forget it was Richard Farley himself who typed out …” the unwarranted moralizing that characterizes the English media”

    • jdfsquared - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      Little thing called modern slavery in Qatar that kinda changes the narrative there.

    • bellerophon30 - Jun 1, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      I think part of it is that at least Russia seems to like soccer, while Qatar is seeing this purely as a business decision. I’m not saying that England doesn’t have a beef, and I was certainly rooting for it to get the WC. But while they lost to a despotic regime, it’s one that appreciates sport for sport, and will actually find a use afterward (hopefully) for the stadiums that will be built/refurbished.

    • Sgc - Jun 1, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      I should explain a little. Among the forces on the side of re-vote are:
      a) Fox — there’s a half a billion dollar swing (at least) in their valuation of WC broadcast rights between a winter WC in Qatar versus a summer one in the US.
      b) The major European clubs — who will be damned if they are just going to let the WC be played in winter without a fight.

    • Sgc - Jun 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Sorry, last reply was meant for a different spot on the page. To this one I wanted to reply that the actual evidence is key. Most people suspect Russia must have done the same thing, but there hasn’t been anything but innuendo over it. Probably because the Russians have 75+ years of KGB history at covering things up.

  9. el timo - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    I don’t mean to sound cynical, but it’s pretty clear that not every glad-handing snake-in-the-grass FIFA official got Qatari Cash in the first round, so they leaked this info to prime the pump for the next big pay-out. Watch for more of these squeeze plays over the next 8 years, leading up to the Death Games in Qatar in 2022.

  10. reformed2012 - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    The rhetoric needs to be keep. How about a world cup without UEFA, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL teams?

  11. boroteesside - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    There are a couple of things regarding the history between FIFA and the British press/media that maybe some on the other side of the pond may not be aware of:

    Firstly, the allegations of corruption started long before the result of the 2014 bid. I am not sure of when the press started running stories but I do remember Andrew Jennings reporting on corruption at FIFA involving Sepp Blatter for Panorama in 2006 – four years before England lost the world cup bid!

    Secondly, in 2011 both UEFA and FIFA lost a case brought against the UK in the European General Court. The case was brought because the UK has a list of sporting events that must be shown on free to air television – including ALL games at the European Championship & World Cup finals – meaning that the two tournaments can not be sold exclusively to pay tv firms, and both governing bodies feel that they are being short changed and missing out on millions!

    So, with allegations of corruption against them and lost tv money, I think it is FIFA that is suffering from the sour grapes!

    • boroteesside - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      ooops 2018 bid

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