Sports

MPs call for investigation into Qatar World Cup bid claims

Qatar reported to have offered Fifa $400m before 2022 success
Al Jazeera alleged to have signed TV contract making the offer

An investigation should be launched into claims that Qatar offered Fifa $400m (£307m) only three weeks before world football’s governing body awarded the 2022 World Cup to the desert state, according to the MP Damian Collins.

Documents published by The Sunday Times appear to show that executives from Qatar’s state-run broadcaster Al Jazeera signed a television contract making the offer as the bidding campaigns to host the World Cup came to a close.

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The alleged contract included a fee of $100m that would be paid into a designated Fifa account if Qatar was successful in the World Cup ballot in 2010.
Al Jazeera was owned and controlled by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who was the driving force behind the bid.

The Sunday Times also alleges that a further $480m was offered by Qatar three years later.
Collins, who is the chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, called on Fifa to freeze the payments from Al Jazeera and launch an investigation into the apparent contract that “appears to be in clear breach of the rules”.

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The Liberal Democrats joined the call for an investigation, with their former leader, Tim Farron, calling on the prime minister to “instruct government minister to urgently meet with Fifa in a bid to secure their agreement for an urgent investigation”.

In an email response to questions from the Sunday Times on Friday, Fifa wrote that “allegations linked to the Fifa World Cup 2022 bid have already been extensively commented by Fifa, who in June 2017 published the Garcia report in full on Fifa.com.

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“Furthermore, please note that Fifa lodged a criminal complaint with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, which is still pending. Fifa is and will continue to cooperate with the authorities.”

Source: theguardian.com

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