Updates from Wednesday, Mar. 19
David Bond of the BBC has the latest on the investigation into the bid for the 2022 World Cup:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly investigating former FIFA vice president Jack Warner on claims that he and his family were paid nearly $2 million by a Qatari company shortly after the country's bid for the 2022 World Cup was accepted.
According to documents recovered by The Telegraph's Claire Newell, Holly Watt, Claire Duffin, Ben Bryant and Alastair Good, Warner was paid $1.2 million and his sons were paid $750,000 by a company owned by Mohamed Bin Hammam, the FIFA executive member of Qatar.
Graham Ruthven reports there will be a meeting of the World Cup executive committee starting Tuesday following The Telegraph's report:
A spokesman commented on the claims according to Sky Sports via FOX Sports:
A spokesman for Qatar's 2022 World Cup organising committee told the Telegraph: "The 2022 bid committee strictly adhered to FIFA's bidding regulations in compliance with their code of ethics.
"The supreme committee for delivery and legacy and the individuals involved in the 2022 bid committee are unaware of any allegations surrounding business dealings between private individuals."
The payment occurred shortly after Qatar won the right to host the international tournament.
A spokesman for Qatar's 2022 World Cup organizing committee, however, claimed there was no foul play involved in the decision-making process:
The 2022 bid committee strictly adhered to Fifa’s bidding regulations in compliance with their code of ethics.
The supreme committee for delivery and legacy and the individuals involved in the 2022 bid committee are unaware of any allegations surrounding business dealings between private individuals.
When Qatar was awarded the prestigious honor to host the 2022 World Cup, it immediately went down as an incredibly controversial decision. The country's climate during the summer—when the tournament is always played—makes for dangerous conditions, and there has been talk of moving it to the winter for the first time in history.
The seemingly poorly thought-out decision has raised speculation of wrongdoing during the bidding process, and in May of 2011, there were claims that Bin Hammam bought the World Cup for Qatar, so this is hardly coming out of nowhere.
Still, as Raphael Honigstein noted, $2 million seems like an awfully small amount to buy the World Cup:
No matter, though, as there seems to be concrete proof in Warner taking a bribe, and with the FBI on the case, the truth is likely to be uncovered sooner rather than later.
Should the claims of bribery eventually be confirmed, the hope is that FIFA will have enough reason to re-start the 2022 World Cup bidding process, putting an end to what has been a miserable situation.