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.  

 


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.