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Volume 7 No. 105
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FIFA's Fatma Samoura Hopeful TV Rights Scandal Will Not 'Disrupt' Qatar WC

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said Tuesday that she "hoped the criminal investigations into the sale of World Cup rights to the Qatari-owned beIN Media group" will not "disrupt" Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup, according to Kieran Canning of the AFP. Swiss prosecutors said last week that they had launched a "criminal corruption probe" targeting Paris St. Germain Chair and beIN Media Group CEO Nasser al-Khelaifi and former FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke over the sale of media rights for World Cups from '18-30. Samoura: "I hope that the ongoing investigations will not disrupt the organization of this World Cup." Samoura, from Senegal, took over the role previously held by Valcke as part of FIFA President Gianni Infantino's team tasked with "cleaning up the battered image" of world football's governing body after a series of corruption scandals. She said, "The World Cups, as you know, are the jewels of FIFA competition. Now that our structure has become much more credible, we cannot afford to jeopardize these competitions. The same goes for Qatar" (AFP, 10/17).

RED FLAG: REUTERS' Cornwell & Phillips reported a Qatar-hosted football tournament for Arab nations "should not go ahead unless Kuwait’s FIFA ban is lifted," UAE FA President Marwan bin Ghalaita said, "denying that his country's boycott was related to the crisis between Gulf states." Qatar is hosting the Gulf Nations Cup in December, a tournament that "usually involves" Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen. Bin Ghalaita said that his federation informed organizers that "the Gulf Cup cannot be played without Kuwait," adding that the request was "nothing political" (REUTERS, 10/17).