Qatar won the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in 2010 and since then has seen itself defending that right more than it’s had the opportunity to promote it.
The tiny oil-rich Gulf nation is the following, none of which seemed to concern FIFA voters in 2010: extremely hot, poorly equipped infrastructure-wise, a notorious human rights violator, and lacking any discernible soccer tradition. Yet, the Qataris beat out countries like the U.S. and Australia, but have seen all of its negatives flare up in the ensuing four years.
Well something had to be awry, right? Especially when FIFA president Sepp Blatter admits that the decision was a mistake.
According to England’s Sunday Times, it’s that corruption that guaranteed the bid, everything else be damned.
From The Daily Mail:
A damning email dossier shows how Mohamed Bin Hammam former president of the Asian Football Confederation used the slush fund to garner support for Qatar’s bid to host the tournament.
The Sunday Times reports that the bribes helped sway key members of FIFA’s 24-man ruling committee into giving the green light for the Arab emirate to host the tournament[….]
It is alleged that delegates who decided upon the destination of the 2022 competition were treated to lavish junkets and large cash payments to secure their support.
The secret dossier provides evidence of £3 million in cash payments to football officials across the globe in order to secure support for the Qatari bid.
African officials were reportedly given $80,000 from Bin Hamman’s slush fund, while former FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner–no stranger to corruption charges–is said to have taken $450,000.
FIFA’s ethics investigator Michael Garcia will head to Qatar to investigate its World Cup committee. If the corruption charges are found to be true, there’s a chance Qatar will be stripped of its bid and the 2022 biding process will re-open. FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has already announced his support of a re-vote if Garcia’s findings are damning.
If the bidding process is re-opened, expect the United States to make another run for the designation, as everything that works against the Qataris works in the U.S.’ favor; however, with the U.S.’ hosting of the international soccer event in 1994, FIFA might be hesitant to give the Americans the tournament again so soon.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Brazil on June 12, as the hosts take on Croatia at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.