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

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.  

 


NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

Updated 08 August 2020

NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

  • Orlando and Washington are last two teams contending for one spot in the East
  • The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: The NBA playoff picture is getting a little clearer.
Brooklyn secured one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference on Friday, defeating Sacramento 119-106. That leaves Orlando and Washington as the last two teams contending for one spot in the East, with the Magic needing only one more win or one Wizards loss to clinch.
Orlando and Washington were both playing later Friday.
For the Nets, the clinching comes as something to savor in a topsy-turvy season.
Kevin Durant couldn’t play at all because of his recovery from Achilles surgery — yet still got a $1 million contract bonus because Brooklyn made the postseason. Kyrie Irving missed much of the year because of injury, the Nets had several regulars opt out of participating in the restart, changed coaches in March and have used 24 players so far this season.
“It’s great to punch our own ticket into the playoffs,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I joked with the guys: I like my laundry being done, but nothing like doing your own laundry.”
The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close, with teams vying to grab the No. 8 spot and play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. If the eighth- and ninth-place teams are within four games of one another when the seeding game schedule ends next week, there will be a two-game series to determine who gets the last playoff spot.
Should that series take place, the ninth-place team would have to go 2-0 in a best-of-two series to advance.
Memphis remained alone in eighth, after the Grizzlies snapped a four-game bubble losing streak by beating Oklahoma City on Friday 121-92. The Grizzlies are one game ahead of Portland in the West standings.
“We channeled what we’ve done all season long,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We played Grizzlies basketball. Grizzlies basketball equals Grizzlies wins, more often than not. We hadn’t done that in the first four games.”
San Antonio leaped idle Phoenix into 10th in the West by beating Utah 119-111, with the Spurs improving to 3-2 in the bubble. The Spurs (30-38) are one game behind Portland in the standings.
“At the end of the day, we can’t control what they’re doing,” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said. “We can only control what we’re doing. We’re going to take every game as it comes. We’re going to try to win every game.”
Phoenix, Sacramento and New Orleans remain in the mix for a play-in series spot. The Suns, who are 4-0 at Disney, play Miami on Saturday.