Fifa must answer allegations dogging the Qatar World Cup

Qatar was certainly an unexpected winner, given the Gulf state’s 50C summer temperatures, restrictions on alcohol and intolerance of homosexuality

Share

There were questions from the start. Indeed, even before the surprise choice of Qatar to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup, there were rumblings about possible malfeasance. Barely six weeks before the deciding vote in 2010, two executives of football’s global governing body were suspended after undercover newspaper investigations apparently revealed attempts to sell support for money or favours. Since then, the swirl of accusations has continued, most notably in the evidence given by Lord Triesman, the chairman of England’s failed bid, to a parliamentary committee, in which he alleged that a whole string of Fifa executive committee members had made inappropriate requests during the negotiating process.

The latest claims are the most specific yet. According to another newspaper investigation, Jack Warner – the former vice-president of Fifa who resigned in 2011 following unrelated allegations of bribery – received around $1.2m from a Qatari company linked to the country’s World Cup bid, with additional payments to other members of his family taking the total up to around $2m. So serious are the claims that the FBI is reportedly investigating the purported transfers of funds through a bank in New York.

Qatar was certainly an unexpected winner, given the Gulf state’s 50C summer temperatures, restrictions on alcohol and intolerance of homosexuality. So insuperable a hurdle was the climate thought to be, in fact, Doha was not viewed as a serious contender when it announced its candidacy. Nor have the practical questions yet been satisfactorily answered. Despite the plan for special cooling systems in the stadiums being built for the tournament, it is widely expected that Fifa will decide to move the tournament to the winter for the first time, playing havoc with national leagues in the process.

Inconvenient as such issues may be, they do not by themselves argue for an alternative venue. The steady drumbeat of allegations of corruption, and with it the growing sense that the decision could have been made for financial rather than sporting reasons, is a different matter. It is not enough for the Qatari bid team to claim that it “strictly adhered to Fifa’s bidding regulations”, as it was quick to do in response to the latest charges regarding Mr Warner. Without swift and convincing answers, the option of re-running the bidding process should not be ruled out.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Gold Ferrari sits outside Chanel on Sloane Street  

Sunday Times Rich List: We are no longer in thrall to very rich people

Terence Blacker
David Cameron was openly emotional at the prospect of Scotland leaving the union before the referendum  

General election 2015: Remember when David Cameron almost cried over Scotland because he loved it so much?

Matthew Norman
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence