Qatar rejects World Cup corruption claims

24 May 2011

Doha hits back at claims that it bribed members of football’s governing body

Qatar has refuted claims that it bribed Fifa members to vote for its successful bid to host football’s World Cup in 2022.

The Qatar Football Association (QFA) issued a 1,700-word statement on 23 May dismissing claims that it paid two members of the Fifa voting panel to support the Qatari bid.

In the statement the QFA rejected the allegations made by the UK-based newspaper the Sunday Times about the conduct of Qatar’s bid committee as “… serious, unsubstantiated and false…’’

“At all times, the Bid Committee has observed rigorous propriety and acted entirely within the rules prescribed by Fifa for the bidding process,’’ added the QFA in the statement.

The statement from the QFA follows comments made by Fifa’s president Sepp Blatter in which he refused to rule out a re-run of the vote to host the 2022 World Cup if evidence proves that members of the voting panel were bribed by Qatar to support its ultimately successful bid to host the tournament.

Fifa has pledged to investigate claims by the UK-based newspaper the Sunday Times in early May that Qatar paid $1.5m to two members of the voting committee to vote for Qatar to host football’s World Cup in 2022.

The Sunday Times claims it has evidence that Fifa members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma were paid $1.5m each to vote for Qatar. The whistleblower at the centre of the scandal has reportedly agreed to give evidence to Fifa that Qatar bribed Fifa officials to support its 2022 bid.

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