Qatari did pay for World Cup 2022 bid support: Report

Qatari did pay for World Cup 2022 bid support: Report
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Mr Mohammed Hammam, seen here with David Beckham.

A senior Qatari football official gave out more than US$5 million (S$6.3 million) in bribes to secure the 2022 World Cup, according to a report in a British daily yesterday.

The Sunday Times said it had obtained millions of e-mails and other documents relating to alleged payments made by Mr Mohamed Hammam, who was then an executive member for Fifa, the sport's global governing body.

It alleged that Mr Mohamed, who is also an ex-Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, used slush funds to pay cash to top football officials to win a "groundswell" of support for Qatar's World Cup bid.

He launched an abortive challenge against incumbent Fifa president Sepp Blatter and resigned from his Fifa and AFC posts in 2012, shortly before he was banned for life from football administration by the global governing body's ethics committee.

Fifa is investigating the 2010 vote that awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and the 2018 tournament to Russia, following previous corruption accusations.

Fifa and Qatar are already under pressure because the 2022 event will be held in the searing heat of the Qatari summer.

The Sunday Times said that Mr Mohamed had made payments of up to US$200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations, and hosted hospitality events in Africa wher he handed out further funds, to get backing for Qatar's bid.

He also paid US$1.6 million into bank accounts controlled by Mr Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, US$450,000 of which was before the vote for the World Cup, the Sunday Times added.

Mr Warner was one of the 22 people who in 2010 decided to award Russia the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 tournament.

This article was first published on June 02, 2014.
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