Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Qatar Paid $880 Million to FIFA Before Being Awarded 2022 World Cup

Qatar Paid $880 Million to FIFA Before Being Awarded 2022 World Cup

Sunday, 10 March, 2019 - 14:30
Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and former Fifa President Joseph Blatter pose with the World Cup following the announcement that Qatar will host 2022 World Cup CREDIT: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP
The state of Qatar secretly offered $400m to Fifa just 21 days before world football’s governing body controversially decided that the 2022 World Cup would be held in the tiny desert country, leaked documents have revealed.

The Sunday Times has reported that they have access to several leaked documents which reveal that executives from the Qatari state-run broadcaster Al Jazeera - that was owned and controlled by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani - signed a television contract making the huge offer.

The contract is said to have also included an unprecedented success fee of $100m that would be paid to FIFA only if Qatar was successful in the 2010 World Cup ballot.

The documents allegedly read: “In the event that the 2022 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 $100m.”

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 World Cup 2022, and $480 million paid three years later.

FIFA is set to reportedly receive a multimillion-pound payment, which includes a portion of the $100m success fee, next month under the contract’s terms.

The report shows that FIFA was directly offered $880 million by the Qatari state in its efforts to host and retain the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

According to the newspaper, this contract is now part of a bribery inquiry by Swiss police.

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 sports 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, that has been under the scanner for possible corruption several times, is yet to make a comment on the latest allegations.

Editor Picks