Skip to content

Shattered glass: Hotel mirror paid the price when Bill Clinton found out about Qatar 2022

Jun 24, 2014, 10:39 PM EDT

Former President Bill Clinton speaks to gathered participants at the annual gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative America, at the Sheraton Downtown, in Denver, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) AP

Between his foundation, speaking engagements, and the various activities that go into being the former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton’s time is a scarce commodity. When U.S. Soccer wanted to bring the World Cup back to the States, however, Clinton carved out enough time to serve as the face of the project, becoming the bid’s honorary chairmen while convincing celebrities like Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Spike Lee to do their part.

Perhaps that’s why Clinton was so mad when he found out all of his efforts went for naught. Reacting to FIFA’s Dec. 2010 decision to award the 2022 finals to Qatar, the former president reportedly took his frustration out on an unsuspecting hotel mirror, breaking the glass in anger in his Zurich hotel room.

Isn’t it always the innocent that get caught in the crossfire? From The Telegraph:

Bill Clinton looked anything but happy as he strode into the Savoy Baur en Ville hotel in Zurich in December 2010. The receptionists could tell he was irritated, but had no idea just how angry he was.

After closing the door to his suite, he reached for an ornament on a table and threw it at a wall mirror in a fit of rage, shattering the glass.

The former US president, who had spent two years travelling the world glad-handing members of football’s governing body, Fifa, could not believe America’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup had been beaten by, of all places, Qatar.

[…]

“Clinton was fuming,” said one well-placed source. “He felt humiliated and felt the decision did not make sense.”

You can just imagine the embarrassment. Here was one of the most powerful men in the world, who leveraged years of his life and connections built up over years in public service, trying to bring a sporting event to the U.S. This wasn’t negotiating Middle East peace or staring down the Chinese during trade talks. This is just soccer, yet when FIFA’s votes were counted, the former president was left on the wrong side of the result, having lost to the oldest enemy in the book.

At least, now it looks like Qatar won the vote through nefarious means, with FIFA investigating the extent to which former Asian confederation Mohammed Bin Hammam was able to, um, “incentivize” voters to write down his home country. The same suspicious we harbor now, Clinton surely had at the time, though as Yahoo’s Dirty Tackle notes, his reaction was more “composed” at the time:

“The FIFA people were in a mood to give it to people who didn’t have it. I think they wanted to make soccer a world sport,” he said the next day, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“They wanted to say, here’s a good non-terrorist, non-bigoted way of embracing — no really, I’m not trivializing this — a way to embrace the modernization attempt of the Middle East.”

Turns out, not so much. Not only did Qatar allegedly win its World Cup through good old fashion pocket-lining, but an innocent mirror lays shattered in its wake.

Which, of course, is one of the least meaningful consequences of this whole Qatar situation. In terms of Bill Clinton, though, it may be the most telling. It’s hard to imagine that the same man who played the saxophone for Arsenio launching a knick-knack at his bathroom wall.

Latest Posts
  1. Adnan Januzaj out injured for Manchester United, Ander Herrera to start up top?

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

    Manchester United v Club Brugge - UEFA Champions League: Qualifying Round Play Off First Leg Getty Images

    With Adnan Januzaj out injured, Ander Herrera could see himself playing in a more advanced role against Swansea City.

  2. Done Deals: Everton inks South American duo, Sunderland signs Toivonen

    Aug 28, 2015, 8:40 PM EDT

    FBL-ARGENTINA-RIVER-BANFIELD Getty Images

    Find out what moves have been completed as the transfer deadline approaches.

  3. Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton

    Aug 28, 2015, 7:48 PM EDT

    Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Getty Images

    Spurs are still looking for their first win of the season, but face a tough test when Everton travels to White Hart Lane.

  4. Donald Trump denies report linking him with purchase of Argentinian soccer club

    Aug 28, 2015, 6:53 PM EDT

    Donald Trump AP

    I guess the Donald is a bit too busy to be buying a soccer club right now…

  5. Friday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: West Brom agrees for Evans, De Guzman to Bournemouth

    Aug 28, 2015, 5:57 PM EDT

    Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League Getty Images

    Catch up on all the latest gossip from around the Premier League, right here.

  6. Wolfsburg sporting director: “De Bruyne is off to Manchester City”

    Aug 28, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptewzmi3mzvjnwu1odkzodm5nwzlowe4otg1nwe2odyy AP

    The deal is expected to be official within the next 24 hours as Manchester City’s offer was too good to refuse.

  7. Report: Manchester United planning massive $112 million bid for Arjen Robben

    Aug 28, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    Arjen Robben AP

    With the close of the transfer window quickly approaching, could Louis van Gaal be on the verge of the summer’s biggest signing?

  8. Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace

    Aug 28, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

    Chelsea v Crystal Palace - Premier League Getty Images

    Chelsea clinched the title last season with a win against Crystal Palace, and the Blues will be looking for a similar result on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

  9. Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Home advantage for heavyweights – Week 4

    Aug 28, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League Getty Images

    PST’s Editor and Lead Writer predicts the scores for every PL game this weekend.

  10. WATCH: NBC Sports’ Premier League TV schedule – Week 4

    Aug 28, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    PremierLeagueNBC

    Where and how to watch every single PL game this weekend.

  11. Premier League Preview: Newcastle United vs. Arsenal

    Aug 28, 2015, 12:40 PM EDT

    Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League Getty Images

    Can the Gunners kick-start their season at St James? Watch live, NBCSN, Saturday 7:45 a.m. ET.

  12. MLS preview: Earthquakes vs. Galaxy, Sounders vs. Timbers headline Rivalry Week

    Aug 28, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Steven Gerrard, LA Galaxy Steven Gerrard, LA Galaxy

    Rivalry Week is upon us once again, and if it lives up to the last edition, we’re going to be in for a mighty good time.

  13. VIDEO: LA Galaxy superstar Steven Gerrard is a huge Taylor Swift fan

    Aug 28, 2015, 11:12 AM EDT

    New York City FC v Los Angeles Galaxy Getty Images

    Liverpool and England legend seems to be enjoying life in LA. Check out his video of Swifty.

  14. Europa League draw: Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur get tough test in group stage

    Aug 28, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    Premier League teams will rack up plenty of air miles this season in Europa League action.

  15. Kevin de Bruyne deal moves closer after “astonishing” offer to join Manchester City

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT

    In this Nov. 27, 2014 photo Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne plays the ball during the Europa League Group H soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and Everton FC at the Volkswagen Arena stadium in Wolfsburg, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) AP

    Wolfsburg admit to talks over KDB, as City’s offer of wages blow Bundesliga side out of the water.

  16. CONCACAF aims for 50-50 crowd split for USA vs. Mexico clash at Rose Bowl

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:04 AM EDT

    Carlos Salcedo, Jordan Morris AP

    Segregation of U.S. and Mexico fans key for CONCACAF for huge showdown in Pasadena.

  17. Help for Harry: Tottenham Hotspur sign $30 million forward Heung-Min Son

    Aug 28, 2015, 8:20 AM EDT

    Bayer 04 Leverkusen v SC Freiburg - Bundesliga Getty Images

    South Korean international becomes Spurs’ third most-expensive signing in club history.

  18. Arsene Wenger concedes Arsenal “maybe not firing on all cylinders” yet

    Aug 27, 2015, 10:01 PM EDT

    Arsene Wenger, Arsenal FC Getty Images

    Why yes, Mr. Wenger, one would have to agree with that assessment. In particular, it’s the finishing that’s killing them, he says.

  19. 2016 Copa America Centenario will be played, but CONCACAF might not be involved

    Aug 27, 2015, 9:13 PM EDT

    Copa America trophy — 2015 Copa America Copa America trophy — 2015 Copa America

    Next summers tournament will go on, but CONCACAF might not participate, which means the Copa needs a new host nation.

  20. Men in Blazers podcast: An afternoon spent inside the mind of Jose Mourinho

    Aug 27, 2015, 7:37 PM EDT

    meninblazers

    Rog talks with Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho about his coaching philosophy, post-match press conferences and football in America.

Featured video

Premier League, Week 3 review