Reports suggest that Qatar may have offered FIFA hundreds of millions of dollars to secure the host right for the 2022 World Cup, according to The Sunday Times.
The state of Qatar secretly offered $400m to FIFA just 21 days before they were awarded the 2022 World Cup, leaked files appear to show.
The Sunday Times has reported that they have access to several leaked documents which reveal a total of $880 million was offered to FIFA by Qatar’s representatives, to avail rights to host the global tournament.
The newspaper also breaks down the entire sum into two parts: $400 million paid just 21 days prior to FIFA’s announcement that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup , and $480 million paid three years later.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s Emir who also owns and controls the Qatari-run state broadcasting agency Al Jazeera, is believed to have signed a television contract that involved the initial $400 million. The contract reportedly included a “success fee” of $100 million provided the country emerged victorious from the 2010 World Cup ballot.
“In the event that the 2022 World Cup competition is awarded to the state of Qatar, Al Jazeera shall, in addition to the … rights fee, pay to FIFA into the designated account the monetary amount of $100 million,” reads the leaked document from The Sunday Times.
The newspaper also claim that FIFA is all set to receive a multi-million-pound payment next month (April, 2019), which will include a portion of the above mentioned success fee.
The second “instalment” of $480 million was supposedly paid three years later, according to the reports. That in turn, makes the overall sum involved a whopping $880 million.
The Sunday Times further alleged that the contracts are now a part of a bribery inquiry by Switzerland police, while it also strengthens the suspicion that Qatar have bought the rights to host one of the World’s most popular sporting competitions, instead of proceeding via fair voting.
The allegations are likely to cause further suspicion as to whether Qatar effectively bought the right to host the World Cup, which will be held in the capital of Doha in three years’ time.
Last night Damian Collins, the chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, told The Sunday Times that FIFA must freeze the Al Jazeera payments and launch an investigation into the contract that “appears to be in clear breach of the rules”.
Meanwhile, FIFA is yet to make an official comment on the latest allegations. This is not their first time under the scanner for possible corruption, many noted footballers and footballing administrators like Michel Platini the President of UEFA having called out the international agency on multiple occasions.