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

Ex-president of FIFA Sepp Blatter. (REUTERS)
Updated 30 May 2018
0

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.


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 23 March 2019
0

Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).