FIFA General Secretary Says 2022 World Cup Was Bought By Qatar

An email between FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke and CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner states that Qatar bought the right to host the 2022 World Cup. The email adds credence to the belief by some that Qatar bribed their way to winning the right to host back in December and is just another in a long list of allegations that FIFA suffers from corruption.

The email between Valcke and Warner was regarding Mohamed bin Hammam, who was running opposite of incumbent Sepp Blatter for FIFA president. The Qatari ruffled some feathers within FIFA by daring to challenge Blatter, but the tail end of the email in which Valcke implies that Qatar bought the right to host the World Cup.

In Valcke's email to Warner, he wrote, "...he [bin Hammam] thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the WC [World Cup]."

With bin Hammam withdrawing from the race for FIFA president amidst allegations he bribed Caribbean officials in exchange for votes in the presidential election, the idea of buying FIFA is understandable. The second part of the email implies that the Qatar bid, of which bin Hammam was a strong supporter, bought the right to host.

The small Arab nation was considered a longshot by many to host the tournament when they announced their intent to bid on the world's biggest sporting event. The odds on Qatar winning the right to host were made even longer when FIFA's inspection report on the country and its bad scored worse than any of its competitors. Even so, when the FIFA executive committee went to vote on the host, Qatar came away winners and won the right to host the 2022 tournament.

Prior to the vote, two members of the executive committee were suspended for accepting bribes. Now, nine of the 24-member executive committee have been accused of corruption in the last seventh months, with four of them being suspended and even Blatter has had ethics proceedings opened against him.

Despite suggestions that FIFA should reopen bidding for the 2022 World Cup and revote, especially from the other hosting candidates, there is no indication that will happen. The United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan lost out to Qatar in the biding process.

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