Qatar bid team accused of sabotaging rival bids for 2022 FIFA World Cup
Allegations of a “black-ops” campaign by Qatar’s bid team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup have sparked controversy as accusations of extensive sabotage emerge.
The Qatar bid team is accused of using ex-CIA connections and public relations firms to run a fabricated propaganda campaign against rival US and Australian bid teams.
The scandal emerged after a confidential source provided documents to The Times (UK), detailing how the Qatar bid team undermined support for hosting the World Cup in other countries.
It is claimed that various tactics were used to create the impression that other countries were disinterested in hosting the 2022 World Cup.
These alleged tactics include paying a professor to write a negative report on the cost of hosting a world cup in the US, recruiting journalists and bloggers to write negative stories, organising protests at sports matches, and recruiting teachers to lobby for the money to go toward school sports instead.
Lord Triesman, who led England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals and a former chairman of the Football Association, urged FIFA to examine the evidence, and said Qatar should be denied the right to host the World Cup if it is shown to have broken FIFA rules.
Rules set out by FIFA state clearly that any comments about bids for the Cup by other bid teams is strictly unacceptable, including comments that are “adverse or otherwise”.
Investigations by FIFA organiser committees are underway.
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