[QODLink]
Middle East

Qatar confident of keeping World Cup

Gulf state says there was no wrongdoing in its 2022 bid, as UK newspaper makes fresh claims of payments and deals.

Last updated: 08 Jun 2014 17:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Qatar said Hammam 'played no official or unofficial role' in its bid [Getty Images]

Qatar has said it is confident it will keep the 2022 World Cup after new allegations by a UK newspaper that a Qatari actively aided the country's bid, using royal connections and the country's energy wealth to influence FIFA members.

The Qatar 2022 committee said on Sunday that it stood by a statement last week denying any wrongdoing, and insisted that Mohamed Bin Hammam, the official at the centre of the claims, "played no official or unofficial role in Qatar’s 2022 bid committee". 

The Sunday Times newspaper said that Hammam, a longtime Qatari member of FIFA's executive committee, arranged government-level talks for a Thai FIFA executive to discuss a natural gas sale "potentially worth tens of millions of dollars to Thailand". 

Hammam failed in a bid for the FIFA presidency in 2011

The newspaper also stated that Hammam organised meetings between nine FIFA executives, including its president Sepp Blatter, and members of the Qatar royal family, and that he distributed $2.8m from a slush-fund to Asian football officials.

A FIFA investigation into the winning bids from Qatar, and Russia in 2018, is expected to finish this week. The organisation's ethics investigator, Michael Garcia, plans to deliver his findings by July.

The fresh allegations were followed by a call by Sony, a principal sponsor of the World Cup, for a thorough investigation.

"As a Fifa partner, we expect these allegations to be investigated appropriately. We continue to expect Fifa to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations," the Japanese company said.

Adidas, another FIFA partner, said on Sunday that the "negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners".

Qatar last week denied allegations by the paper that Hammam paid $5m to football officials to build support for the bid.

Hammam failed in a bid for the FIFA presidency in 2011, and has since been expelled from FIFA for corruption in a separate matter.

336

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.