By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The controversial award by FIFA of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar is again in the news.
The leading British newspaper, ‘The Sunday Times’, revealed on 10 March 2019, that secret payments totalling US$880 million have allegedly been paid to FIFA by Qatar to secure the award of this prestigious sporting event.
Qatar was a surprise choice because of the hot climate and the lack of association football history in the country at the time of the award, although the Qatar National Team has climbed to 55th position in the latest FIFA/COCA-COLA world ranking, following its success in the AFC Asian Cup.
The newspaper reported that these financial arrangements are currently the subject of a bribery inquiry by the Swiss Police.
FIFA has declined to make any comment on these allegations, but, presumably, will be investigating them.
It would appear, from these revelations, that Qatar, in effect, bought the right to organise and stage the World Cup, which, of course, is contrary to FIFA’s own rules.
It is reported that the cost of the Qatar World Cup will run to a staggering $US 138 million, which is six times the amount spent by South Africa on the event in 2010!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’