Earlier this year, the World Cup was awarded to the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar, and there are a lot of questions about the award’s legitimacy. The country’s World Cup bid has been the subject of a number of allegations of corruption. Some of these include allegations of bribes and sweeteners. The country has also been criticised for its policies on gender equality, gay rights, and alcohol policies. These issues have led watchdogs to criticise the country’s human rights record and the treatment of migrant workers.
The corruption allegations have been heard for years, but a number of major events have taken place in the lead up to the awarding of the World Cup. For example, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was swept out of soccer when the corruption scandal broke. A former chief of staff of Nicolas Sarkozy, Claude Gueant, was called in for questioning by France’s anti-corruption police, while Michel Platini, the ex-president of the European Football Association (UEFA), was arrested and suspended from the sport for four years.
During the bidding process, several senior figures were swept up in the corruption scandal. One of them is Mohamed bin Hammam, the former president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). In 2010, Bin Hammam was accused of bribing FIFA officials to secure the votes of African football officials. His alleged scheme involved paying $800,000 to the Ivory Coast FA and funneling $450,000 directly into the bank account of FIFA vice president Jack Warner. He later signed off on two payments of $400 000 each to voters. This was believed to be the first payments made by Qatar to FIFA’s account.
The FIFA chief investigator, Michael Garcia, is currently conducting a full investigation into the validity of the bidding process. The investigation is also looking into allegations that FIFA executives used their position to secure votes for Qatar.
Qatar’s bid committee has denied any involvement with the scandal. However, it has refused to comment on the report from the Sunday Times. It is not clear if the article will be considered in the ongoing FIFA investigation.
In addition to the 2022 World Cup, the country has been under fire for migrant worker abuses and wage theft. Amnesty International has interviewed workers on their experiences with excessive working hours, physical abuse, and wage theft. The Kafala system is used to control the migrant population, and ties migrant workers to sponsors. Many workers have complained of excessive recruitment fees, as well as wage theft. There have also been 37 non-work-related deaths in Qatar. The World Cup’s move to the winter has also been criticized.
FIFA has appointed American lawyer Michael Garcia to investigate the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup. The report is expected to recommend that the tournament be re-voted. If the allegations are true, then the World Cup should be moved to a different country.
The Sunday Times reported that former soccer official Mohamed bin Hammam gave millions of dollars to African football officials in order to secure votes for Qatar. Bin Hammam was banned from soccer for life after being accused of offering bribes. He was also implicated in a corruption scandal during his unsuccessful bid for the FIFA presidency in 2011.