TIMELINE: The trail of corruption allegations and scandal surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Sepp Blatter hands over the World Cup trophy to the then Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his wife Sheikha Moza. The decision immediately drew suspicion. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 18 June 2019

TIMELINE: The trail of corruption allegations and scandal surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Michel Platini, the former FIFA executive board member and French football legend, has been detained for questioning by French police over allegations of corruption related to Qatar being awarded the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

The development is the latest in a long line of investigations and allegations against the shock decision in December 2010.

November 2010

An alleged “secret meeting” takes place in Paris between the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Qatar's then-Crown Prince (now Emir) Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and Michel Platini, who at that time was both UEFA president and vice-president of FIFA.

December 2010

FIFA announces that Qatar will stage the 22nd World Cup, winning 14 of the 22 executive committee votes - including Platini’s. The decision is met with surprise, derision and suspicion.

January 2011

The then FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he expects the competition to be held in winter, to avoid the summer heat.

May 2011

A former member of the Qatari bid, Phaedra Al-Majid, claims that money was paid to members of FIFA’s executive committee in order to buy votes.

The Qatar 2022 bid team deny any wrongdoing, saying their name had been “dragged through the mud for no reason.”

June 2011

FIFA executive committee member, the Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, is found guilty of bribery and banned from all international and national football activity for life. 

July 2011

Al-Majid retracts her claims of corruption, but later says she did so after being coerced by Qatar’s organising committee.

July 2012

FIFA commissions a report into allegations of corruption led by Michael Garcia, head of its ethics committee.

September 2013

Amnesty International uncovers “human rights abuses” on World Cup construction projects, releasing a report that details “an alarming level of exploitation.” In the years that follow, human rights groups issue report after report documenting abuses towards the workforce building Qatar's World Cup infrastructure.

June 2014

The Sunday Times reports that Hammam had made payments to football officials in return for votes for Qatar.

December 2014

Garcia resigns after losing an appeal against FIFA’s decision to publish what he described as an “erroneous” summary of his 430-page report.

May 2015

Seven FIFA officials are arrested in Zurich for alleged racketeering, conspiracy and corruption while Swiss authorities raid the FIFA headquarters looking for evidence linked to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

June 2015

Blatter resigns after 17 years in charge of Fifa.

 

September 2015

Swiss authorities open criminal proceedings against Blatter focusing on a payment of two million Swiss francs to Platini. The payment was for work carried out by Platini as a consultant for FIFA between January 1999 and June 2002, but was not executed until 2011 - three months after Qatar won its bid to host the World Cup.

October 2015

Blatter accuses Platini of going back on an agreement that Russia would host the 2018 World Cup and the USA would host the 2022 tournament. Blatter says Platini changed his mind and backed Qatar after the November 2010 meeting with Sarkozy and Sheikh Tamim in Paris.

December 2015

Blatter and Platini are banned from football for eight years by FIFA’s ethics committee.

April 2017

The National Public Prosecutor’s Office in France launches an investigation into how and why the 2018 and 2022 tournaments were awarded to Russia and Qatar.

June 2017

Fifa finally releases Garcia’s full report on corruption at the organization.

June 2019

Platini held for questioning by French police in Paris as part of the  investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

 


Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

Updated 15 November 2019

Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

  • Prince Faisal said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup winner Mosaad Al-Dossary was the kind of role model young players should be looking to emulate, according to the Kingdom’s esports gaming chief.

President of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronics and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, told Arab News he was “proud” of Al-Dossary for his esports achievements and for showing “his class as a human being.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum, in Riyadh, the prince said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

Equating esports to traditional sports, he stressed it was important that young people moderated their time playing video competitions. 

“Moderation in everything,” he quoted his father as telling him.

“Everything has its positives, within reason. I don’t expect our professional (esports) players to be playing for 18 hours a day. What we advocate is having good mental health, social health as well as good physical health.”

Prince Faisal said it was important that youth chose their heroes carefully, and Al-Dossary was an example of the perfect role model. 

“I’m proud of him for all of his many accomplishments in gaming, but I’m prouder of who he is as a person.”

He noted that during Al-Dossary’s winning participation in the Manchester FUT Champions Cup, in the UK, one of the tournament’s young competitors had fallen ill and was taken to hospital. Al-Dossary had ducked out of victory celebrations to go and visit his sick opponent, taking with him the green scarf awarded to world cup qualifiers which he left on the young man’s bedside table as a gift.

“I’m prouder of him for doing that, brightening up his opponent’s day, than I am of him winning the world cup,” the prince said. 

“He showed his class as a human being, not as an esports player. And that’s what we expect of all of our athletes and all of our young kids across all industries and sports.

“That’s the caliber of person that we have in Saudi, in our communities and that’s what I want to showcase to the world.”

Prince Faisal admitted that online harassment could be a problem, but said it was a global issue that could only be solved through education.

“There are errors, and esports and gaming is a new era, and it’s a new era of accessibility. Along with that comes a learning curve and an education curve,”he added.