FIFA President Sepp Blatter called critics of FIFA awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar racists.
“There is a sort of storm against FIFA relating to the Qatar World Cup,” he complained. “Sadly there’s a great deal of discrimination and racism. It makes me really sad.”
Imagine how “really sad” Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States will feel if the corruption charges turn out to be true. Qatar beat those countries to host the 2022 World Cup.
According to The Sunday Times, evidence exists showing that former FIFA executive committee president Mohammed bin Hammam “pulled strings at the top of government and with the country’s royal family to arrange meetings and favours [sic] for key voters in the months leading up to the World Cup ballot.” The Qatar 2022 committee tried to disassociate itself from bin Hammam, but The Sunday Times said the documents will prove he worked alongside others.
The charges are so severe the sponsors are speaking out. Adidas said they were concerned about the corruption while Sony demanded an intense investigation. ESPN reports that BP and Budweiser are now voicing their concerns.
Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup in December 2010. It immediately raised eyebrows because the country does not own the infrastructure to host the world’s most popular sports tournament and it is not uncommon for the summer days to reach 120 degrees. In fact, the average temperature in June and July is 106 degrees. On May 17, Blatter admitted it was a mistake to award a summer World Cup in a country with deadly temperatures.
It might be extremely hot, but Qatar sits on a lot of oil and gas. From The Telegraph:
In March, Telegraph Sport revealed that former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner and his family were paid millions by a company owned by the former Fifa executive committee member for Qatar.
Further disclosures revealed that the daughter of a former executive committee member had more than £2 million put into her account, and a senior Fifa official’s son was given a job at a private Qatari hospital shortly after the decision to award the country the World Cup.
Brazil hosts the 2014 World Cup, which starts Thursday, and Russia stages the tournament in four years.