Friday, 19 June 2015

Qatar paid CAF $1.8 million to present 2022 World Cup bid

Qatar paid the African Football Confederation (CAF) $1.8 million to present its bid for the 2022 World Cup at a congress, the continent’s top football official told a French magazine.
CAF president and FIFA vice president Issa Hayatou said he saw nothing wrong with the payment made before the confederation held a congress in the Angolan capital Luanda in January 2010.
Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup later the same year at a controversial FIFA vote now under investigation by Swiss authorities.
Paris-based Jeune Afrique magazine asked Hayatou about the donation from Qatar.
Qatar paid CAF $1.8 million to present 2022 World Cup bid

“It was $1.8 million, not one million. Paid in two times 900,000 dollars,” the AFC chief said. “The Qataris gave it to us to be able to show their plan during the congress.”
Hayatou insisted he had not expected other candidates, including the United States and Australia, to pay for a similar privilege.
“Not necessarily. We didn’t ask Qatar to do it. They proposed it. We did not ban the other candidates from taking part in the presentation,” he added, while also denying that it was a bid to buy African votes. 
“I convened immediately after a meeting of the CAF executive committee to say that what had happened did not commit us to anything. Everyone voted according to their soul and conscience.”
Asked about the payment, a CAF spokesman said Qatar “wanted to have this privilege exclusively” to make its presentation and that the money is “noted in the confederation’s accounts”.
Qatar did not comment on the report but has in the past strongly denied any wrongdoing connected to its bid.
Meanwhile, Switzerland’s attorney general says he is prepared for his investigation into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to cause “collateral” damage to the host nations if wrongdoing is proved – but warned that the probe could take years to complete.
Michael Lauber said his investigators are probing 53 possible money-laundering incidents as part of their inquiry but that the huge volume of computer data means the task will be long and complex.
Lauber did not rule out FIFA president Sepp Blatter or secretary general Jerome Valcke being interviewed as part of the investigation.
Asked about the effect of the investigation on the World Cup hosts, Lauber said: “I don’t mind if this has collaterals somewhere else. I don’t care about the timetable of FIFA – I only care about my own timetable, which is following Swiss procedural code.” News

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