Qatar will be stripped of 2022 World Cup
1:06 AM Tue 3rd Jun, 2014 - Admin
It is now certain that Qatar will be stripped of the 2022 World Cup Finals.
The original decision to award the 2022 World Cup Finals was based on a flawed bidding process and this resulted in what is universally accepted at all levels of football as the very poor decision to select Qatar. There has been much discussion around the issues of hosting the Finals in Qatar but to keep it simple, it was a stupid decision.
How had a minuscule state of 2m people (of which approximately 80% are temporary workers) with virtually no football tradition or infrastructure and searing summer temperatures of 50C, beaten footballing countries with much stronger bids?
As stupid as the original decision has been shown to be, FIFA has persisted with its public line that Qatar 2022 will proceed.
But FIFA is now faced with what appears to be irrefutable evidence that Qatar paid significant illegal payments to facilitate the FIFA voting in favour of its 2022 World Cup bid. The Sunday Times claims to have seen millions of e-mails detailing payments to officials in the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific.
"We've seen millions of documents that prove without a shadow of doubt that corruption was involved. There is clear evidence linking payments to people who have influence over the decision of who hosted the World Cup." said Sarah Baxter, the deputy editor of the Sunday Times.
FIFA is conducting its own investigation into corruption allegations led by American lawyer Michael Garcia. The allegations will be raised at the June 10 FIFA congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Garcia will finalise the investigation and report to FIFA later this year.
Garcia's report will officially confirm that the 2022 World Cup bid process was corrupted.
The only remaining line of defence for Qatar is to distance themselves from disgraced former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam. This is a defence that is completely improbable. Mohamed Bin Hamman is a Qatari national that worked for the Qatar FA for 24 years. He rose to Chairman of the Qatar FA and then used this position to achieve Presidency of the Asian Football Confederation and membership of the FIFA Executive.
There has been growing acceptance within FIFA that Qatar must be stripped of the 2022 World Cup. Due process will be followed but once Garcia's report is completed, FIFA will move quickly and reopen the process for the 2022 World Cup Finals.
Qatargate is rapidly becoming football's equivalent of "Lance Armstrong". Fortunately for FIFA 2022 is still a long way away and this gives it the time it will need to reopen the bidding process. But for FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Qatargate may be the end of the road for his reign at the top of FIFA.
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