Qatar 2022 Organizers Deny $1M Bribery Allegations By The Sunday Times
Organizers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup have hit back at bribery allegations published in the U.K. media, calling the reports "malicious and reckless," according to Andy Sambidge of ARABIAN BUSINESS. The Sunday Times has claimed that Qatar officials "considered offering $1M" to the son of FIFA Exec Committee member Amos Adamu, who "handed the tournament to the Gulf state in Dec. '10" (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 11/19). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw noted Qatar, "which was embroiled in unsubstantiated claims of corruption during its successful bid to stage the tournament, has consistently denied any suggestion of foul play accusing those who tried to undermine its bid of a smear campaign." The Sunday Times' report quotes Qatar 2022 officials as having confirmed that discussions took place, but insisting they "later backed out of the deal after considering the 'relevant FIFA rules.'" The newspaper said that it had passed the file to FIFA and that a spokesperson had confirmed the relevant information had been "immediately forwarded" to Ethics Committee Chair Michael Garcia. FIFA said, "It will be for Michael Garcia to analyse the documents and decide on any potential next steps." In a "strongly worded statement" released to media organizations, Qatar 2020's supreme committee categorically denied it had done anything wrong. The statement read: "We refute absolutely the allegations." It continued: "The truth is that our bid committee, after careful consideration, opted not to sign any agreement with the individual concerned and had no part whatsoever in the 'African Legends Dinner' event, financially or otherwise" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 11/18).