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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Murky business of Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

No, you are not watching a new season of The Sopranos and yes, big Tony has sadly left us although you could be forgiven for thinking the FIFA World Cup 2022 host Qatar was the inspiration for a 7th season script of the american mafioso classic. Its beyond a joke how much murkiness is associated with this bid process and host and yet the games administrators continue to look the other way.

The legitimacy of Qatar 2022 has again been brought into question by fresh corruption allegations that link the successful bid with the country’s disgraced former football boss, Mohamed bin Hammam. Most recently Qatar was cleared to host the 2022 tournament but British newspaper The Sunday Times has now published electronic messages that challenge that assertion and paint bin Hammam as a central figure in the Qatari bidding committee.

The latest corruption allegations surfaced immediately after German Football League president Reinhard Rauball said UEFA, the administrative body for soccer in Europe, should consider parting ways with world football’s governing body if FIFA did not make public a full report of an investigation into bribery and corruption allegations associated with the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

The Qatar bidding team have become experts at avoiding questions and denying any involvement with bin Hammam, which FIFA has held on to as its defense throughout the drama that is Qatar 2022.

The picture being painted by critics, depicts vote-swapping pacts, paid for luxurious travel, secret cash payments and reads very much like The Soprano script, a few body bags and Hollywood producers will be racing to secure movie rights. Hopefully that doesn’t happen but predicted lethal playing temperatures for the tournament may just be the last scene in this ugly saga.

All this, after the ruling by FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert clearing Qatar of any wrongdoing in the bidding process for the 2022 tournament. That report has been widely criticised with the strongest protest coming from FIFA’s chief investigator Michael Garcia who was responsible for the fact finding the report was based on.

Where there is smoke there is fire and I predict there is plenty of time yet for Qatar 2022 to burn to the ground.

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