Qatari World Cup bid team hit back
Published : 23 May 2011 13:00:21
The Qatari World Cup bid team have launched a furious defence of their conduct following allegations of corruption during their successful attempt to stage the tournament in 2022.
The claims centre on a whistleblower who has alleged that FIFA members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma were paid 1.5million US dollars each to vote for Qatar, according to evidence given to a Parliamentary committee by the Sunday Times. The pair deny the claims.
In a statement, the Qatari World Cup bid team said: "For The Sunday Times to suggest that 'nobody of sound mind could be persuaded the support for Qatar' was based purely on merit, because Qatar is a 'small desert state with a minuscule population, no football traditions and hostile summer temperatures' is not only insulting, it exemplifies the sustained and unbalanced reporting that the bid committee has been subjected to."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the newspaper has agreed to bring the whistleblower, who had worked for the Qatar 2022 bid organisation, to Zurich to testify in person.
On Monday, in the 1,672-word statement, the Qatari World Cup bid team hit back and made counter-allegations including that reporters posed as corrupt members of the United States bid.
The bid team also insisted the allegations were "completely false".
"The publication of the memorandum on the website of the CMS Select Committee has caused enormous and wholly unjustified potential damage to the bid committee and the individuals on it," said the statement.
"The aim of the bid committee has always been to show that the Middle East is a realistic option for staging the World Cup and it has worked extremely hard to bring the tournament to the Middle East for the first time.
"To have this achievement tarnished by completely unsubstantiated and false allegations and for those allegations to be propounded by the Parliament of the United Kingdom is something we find distressing, insulting and incomprehensible."