Qatar Accused of Bribing FIFA Executives for 2022 World Cup
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) - the world’s football governing body - has been catapulted into controversy and crisis after months of accusations and counter-accusations about bribes and corruption. Most recently, vice president Jack Warner has revealed an email from secretary general Jerome Valcke, who accuses Qatar of buying the rights to host the 2020 World Cup.
Qatar and Qatari Mohammed bin Hammam, a top FIFA official who has been very involved in the nation’s bid, have denied the allegations, while Valcke has defended his email in a statement, saying that he was using a lighter way of expression by nature. He was only saying that the winning bidder used their financial strength to gain support to lobby for the bid.
Warner and bin Hammam have both been suspended over accusations that they paid Caribbean delegates to vote for Hammam in the election of the next FIFA president - he was running against current president Sepp Blatter. Both officials have denied the claims, while bin Hammam has been banned by the ethics committee for bribery charges as well.
Revealing the email, Warner claimed that Valcke told him that he never understood why bin Hammam was running for FIFA president. He speculated as to if bin Hammam thought he had a chance, was just doing it to express his dislike for Blatter or if he thought he could buy the organisation like he did for the World Cup.
Confirming the email was genuine, Valcke defended his words, saying that the email was private and that Warner only published parts of the email. He said that Warner had also sent him an email asking if he wanted bin Hammam to run in the election and then suggested that Valcke ask him to pull out. The secretary general also denied claims that he influenced the ethics committee against the two men, saying he met the chairman for the first time on Sunday at a 5pm press conference and hadn’t had any contact with anyone.