Almost a decade after Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, allegations of corruption continue to plague the country. The case has become a polarizing issue, and even some of the country’s own representatives have suggested that the claims are based on racism or mistreatment of workers. In response to the allegations, the Qatar organizing committee has denied any wrongdoing.
The corruption allegations have been centered on a number of issues, including the regressive labor laws and bribery that occurred during the bidding process. However, the case has been particularly intense because of the involvement of some prominent FIFA members and officials. In addition to the U.S. Department of Justice, which announced charges against three media executives, the French government is also investigating the role of Nicolas Sarkozy.
The investigation of the allegations began in the U.S. Department of Justice, who began to look into the bidding process for the Russia 2018 World Cup. The Justice Department also charged a sports marketing company. Those charges are linked to bribery of FIFA members and a 24-year scheme to enrich executives.
The Justice Department’s investigation was based on the assumption that some of the FIFA members involved in the vote were bribed, and that the Russia 2018 bid was slanted. The investigation also looked into the marketing contracts and television contracts that were awarded to Russia. The investigation alleged that FIFA members were bribed by Qatar, Russia, and others. The investigation also claimed that three members of the FIFA executive committee were flown to Rio de Janeiro for a private party before the vote.
The Justice Department investigation into the Russia 2018 World Cup concluded that FIFA members were bribed in a variety of ways. Some of the allegations were that the members were paid for their votes, and others alleged that the voting members had been bribed to vote for Qatar.
While the Justice Department investigation focused on Russia and Qatar, it also included an examination of the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup. The Justice Department said that three media executives were also charged with bribery. One of the executives, Chuck Blazer, was a former executive committee member of the International Federation of Association Football. Another, Sandro Rosell, is currently in prison for money laundering.
The report also claimed that Qatar paid $15 million to three soccer officials from South America. It was also reported that a Qatar-based associate claimed that a payment was “the proceeds of a real estate deal.” The investigators asserted that the money was used to bribe FIFA members, and that Qatar was paying off the three men for their vote.
A whistleblower, Phaedra Almajid, claims that she was in a room with Mohamed Al-Thawadi when he made the payments. In addition, the investigators allege that Qatar paid a total of $2 million to Michel Platini. Platini was the Uefa president at the time of the vote.
In addition to the Justice Department’s investigation, the Guardian released a report that found that more than six thousand migrant workers have died in Qatar since 2010. The Guardian investigation also found that about three dozen people have died while working on World Cup construction.