Report to claim awarding of 2022 World Cup to Qatar was “completely illegitimate”

Ex-president of FIFA Sepp Blatter. (REUTERS)
Updated 30 May 2018
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Report to claim awarding of 2022 World Cup to Qatar was “completely illegitimate”

LONDON: FIFA is set to come under yet more pressure to strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup with a new sports watchdog set to publish a damning report that claims Qatar paid millions to members of FIFA’s executive committee just before the controversial vote in 2010.
The Foundation for Sports Integrity said Qatar’s awarding of the 2022 hosting rights was “completely illegitimate” in a new investigation that alleges that then-Argentine FIFA executive Julio Grondona received a payment of £3.6 million ($4.7 million) into his Swiss bank account just before the 2010 vote.
The report, the findings of which were published by The Sun newspaper, said: “The 2018/2022 bidding process was the most blatant example of FIFA’s corruption. We believe the 2010 decision cannot last.
“The bribes of Qatar were not only the most substantial, but also reached the largest number of FIFA executive committee members.
“Qatar’s victory was completely illegitimate.”
On top of other questionable deals, the Foundation also alleges that a £1.1bn deal between Qatar Airways and French firm Airbus Industries followed talks between the Emir of Qatar, then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy and former UEFA president Michael Platini in the weeks leading up to the vote. As well that it is alleged that Thailand’s FA president Worawi Makudi was involved in a multi-million pound deal that saw Qatar supply two million tons of liquefield natural gas to Makudi’s country.
All parties involved in the bid deny any wrongdoing, but FIFA will doubtless come under increased pressure to properly investigate the Qatar bid.
And with the 68th FIFA Congress set to be held on June 12 two days before the Russia World Cup kicks off, the pressure on the game’s governing body to reevaluate the controversial 2022 vote will likely only increase once the report is published in full on Thursday.


Leonard scores 35, Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 for 3-2 lead

Updated 24 May 2019
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Leonard scores 35, Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 for 3-2 lead

  • Leonard hit the 30-point mark for the fourth time in the series

MILWAUKEE: Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-99 on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Leonard showed no obvious signs of the leg soreness that bothered him in Toronto’s victories in the previous two games, hitting the 30-point mark for the fourth time in the series. He made five 3-pointers and had seven rebounds and nine assists.
Fred VanVleet scored 21 points, hitting seven 3s. Kyle Lowry added 17 as the Raptors put themselves in position to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time. A victory at home Saturday would set up a matchup with two-time defending champion Golden State.
“This was a super-hard win tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
The Raptors battled out of an early 14-point hole, then got 15 points from Leonard in the fourth quarter to send the top-seeded Bucks to their first three-game losing streak of the season.
“We weathered the storm early,” Leonard said.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points for Milwaukee hours after being announced as a unanimous first-team, All-NBA selection. Eric Bledsoe scored 20 and Malcolm Brogdon added 18 points and 11 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup.
“It’s first to four. We’ve got to go to Toronto, get a game. I think the group will be ready,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
The Raptors were clinging to a two-point lead in the closing minute after Khris Middleton drove around Leonard on the baseline for a layup.
Toronto was initially called for a shot-clock violation when Leonard missed a fadeaway jumper with 35 seconds left. That got overturned by a replay review, and Brook Lopez was called for a foul, instead, for bumping Marc Gasol after he retrieved the loose ball.
Gasol hit both free throws to make it 100-97. Another replay review went in Toronto’s favor when officials determined a ball went out of bounds off Brogdon with 26.8 seconds left. Brogdon pulled his hand away, thinking his dribble had gone off Pascal Siakam’s foot.
Siakam then drove for a dunk, making it 102-97, and the Raptors hung on from there.
Milwaukee was leading 81-79 with about 8 1/2 minutes left when Leonard nailed back-to-back 3-pointers. He hit two free throws before Siakam threw down a put-back dunk to make it 89-81.
The Bucks tied it at 93-all with 2:44 left on a 3-pointer by Lopez. VanVleet answered with one of his own before Antetokounmpo threw down an alley-oop dunk to cut it to 96-95 with just over two minutes remaining.
The Bucks set a fast pace early on and led by 10 after the first quarter, delighting the towel-waving fans chanting “Fear The Deer! Fear the Deer!” They withstood a 16-2 run by Toronto to start the second, with Antetokounmpo nailing a 3 to stop it.
The Bucks also went on a 14-2 run early in the third, with the Greek Freak throwing down a hard dunk off a feed by Middleton for a 63-51 lead. But the Raptors got right back into it.

Tip-ins

Raptors: Lowry now has 1,126 points in 66 playoff games for Toronto, surpassing DeMar DeRozan (1,117) as the franchise’s postseason scoring leader.
Bucks: Brogdon started all 64 games he played in during the regular season, before missing basically all of the first two rounds because of a heel injury. With Brogdon back in the lineup, Nikola Mirotic came off the bench.

Up next

Game 6 is at Toronto on Saturday.