Members of FIFA’s ruling council urge ethics committee to investigate latest Qatar allegations

The moment Sepp Blatter shocked the world by announcing Qatar had won the right to host the 2022 World Cup
Updated 31 July 2018
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Members of FIFA’s ruling council urge ethics committee to investigate latest Qatar allegations

  • Members of FIFA’s ruling council have told the Telegraph newspaper that they want the governing body’s ethics committee to demand the evidence behind latest allegations
  • Qatar accused in Sunday Times of running a black operations campaign to attack rival World Cup bids

LONDON: FIFA has been urged to demand the documents behind allegations that the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid hired former CIA agents to conduct a so called black operations campaign to attack rival World Cup bids. 

The Sunday Times said Qatar paid a public relations firm to spread “fake propaganda” about Australia and the US — both rivals to host the 2022 competition, citing emails from a whistleblower.

One email that was sent to Qatar’s deputy bid leader Ali Al-Thawadi allegedly shows the state was aware of plots to spread “poison” against other bidders in the running before Qatar won the right to host the tournament.

Such moves are against FIFA rules say bidders must “refrain from making any written or oral statements of any kind, whether adverse or otherwise, about the bids or candidatures of any other member association which has expressed an interest in hosting and staging the competitions.”

Having read the article members of FIFA’s ruling council have told the Telegraph newspaper that they want the governing body’s ethics committee to demand the evidence behind the allegations. The officials, none of whom wanted to be identified, felt the allegations were more than sufficient enough for FIFA to act and investigate, however, they also told the British newspaper that the claims alone were probably not enough for Qatar to be stripped of hosting the 2022 World Cup. 

Those calls for FIFA to act came on top of British politicians’ pleas asking the Zurich-based body to also act. Lord Triesman, former chairman of the Football Association and England 2018 bid chairman, urged FIFA to “look at the evidence thoroughly,” and said the Gulf state should not host the 2022 tournament if it was proven that its bid broke FIFA rules. 

He told the Sunday Times: “I think it would not be wrong for FIFA to reconsider England in those circumstances. We have the capabilities.”

British MP and long-time critic of the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar, Damian Collins, also called for an independent investigation into the allegations. 

"If the Qataris have broken the rules, they should face some sanctions,” he said.

Meanwhile, disgraced former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter has once again epeated claims that ex-France president Nicolas Sarkozy influenced the 2022 World Cup bidding process in favour of Qatar. 

Blatter took to Twitter, writing: “Bad news: Qatar accused of denigration of other bidders! Fact is Qatar won after a political intervention by the former French President Sarkozy to FIFA Vice-President Platini. More information in my book ‚Ma verité‘ chapter 10.”

Then UEFA president Michel Platini cast his vote in favour of the Gulf state but said Sarkozy had not told him to do so either during their well-publicised November 2010 meeting — which was also attended by Qatar's then crown prince — or at any point afterwards.  

 


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

Updated 23 March 2019
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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).