FIFA Congress Prepares to Re-Vote on Qatar Hosting 2022 World Cup

FIFA Congress Prepares to Re-Vote on Qatar Hosting 2022 World Cup

Tuesday, 29 May, 2018 - 07:15
A view shows the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. (Reuters)
London – Hani Abdul Salam
The world appears to be in for a major surprise in June when the football world governing body, FIFA, convenes its Congress in Russia after western media leaks revealed that the gatherers may hold a re-vote on who will host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar was controversially granted the right to host the event, but accusations of corruption have since poured in against the gulf state. It is suspected of bribing members of the FIFA executive committee in order to win the honor of hosting the global spectacle.

Many of the members have since admitted to receiving these bribes and they are now standing trial in the United States.

Next month’s 68th FIFA Congress will be held on June 12, two days before the kick off of the World Cup in Russia.

The meeting is scheduled to hold a vote on who will host the 2026 World Cup, but there have been behind-the-scene European efforts to hold a re-vote on the 2022 host.

Germany has been the most vocal of these European powers, with President of the German Football Association Reinhard Grindel underlining the need for a re-vote. He joins the ranks of global anti-corruption and rights organizations that have called for denying Qatar of the right to host the World Cup.

These calls will give FIFA the opportunity to clean its image following a series of corruption scandals that led to the 2015 resignation of its former chief Sepp Blatter, who was also accused of fraud.

He has been succeeded by Gianni Infantino.

The Foundation For Sports Integrity is set to meet in London on Thursday to pressure FIFA to combat corruption by stripping Qatar of the right to host the World Cup.

German media sources said that FIFA will likely yield to this pressure.

Germany’s Focus magazine, meanwhile, reported that FIFA will adopt a new method for voting on the host of the 2026 World Cup.

Previously, members of its executive committee voted for their favorite candidate. This time around, however, all 211 members of the Congress will vote.

Efforts have been made to push for this format in voting for the 2022 World Cup host country given the corruption allegations that plagued the process eight years ago.

To compound Qatar’s problems even further, Cornerstone Global conducted a 2017 study on the risks of holding the World Cup in the Gulf state.

It spoke of the growing political danger of its inability to host the event in wake of the diplomats crisis between it and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

Doha has also been repeatedly accused of mistreating the laborers who are building the World Cup stadiums and facilities.

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