Report Claims UEFA's Platini Met With Bin Hammam Before Controversial World Cup Vote
UEFA President Michel Platini was on Monday night "under pressure to explain a secret meeting with the man at the centre of the Qatar World Cup scandal," according to Newell, Watt & Bryant of the London TELEGRAPH. The Telegraph "unearthed evidence" that Platini "had a private discussion with Mohamed Bin Hammam, the controversial Qatari who paid millions of pounds to football officials around the world." The emergence of the meeting means that France "has become the first European nation to be drawn into the World Cup bribery scandal," which has so far been limited to African and Caribbean countries. It is understood that the meeting took place shortly before FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Bin Hammam "personally lobbied" Platini to support the Emirate’s bid. One exec committee member said they were “shocked” by the disclosure of the meeting. Meanwhile, documents also show that an adviser to the Thai FA "discussed a gas deal between his country and Qatar before the World Cup vote." Thai FA President Worawi Makudi "was involved in a deal between Qatar and a Thai company to deliver gas." In '12, Qatargas signed a deal with PTT, Thailand’s leading energy company, "which sponsors its football association, to deliver two million tonnes of liquefied natural gas to the Far East country." Letters and emails between Bin Hammam’s staff and Thai football officials show that "a range of deals were connected to Qatar’s 2022 bid." The documents also show that one Asian FIFA official "was offered a car dealership" by Bin Hammam, again "before the vote" (TELEGRAPH, 6/2).