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.

 


Riyadh to host inaugural Saudi international cycling race

Updated 22 January 2020

Riyadh to host inaugural Saudi international cycling race

  • This new race represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders

JEDDAH: Sports chiefs are gearing up to announce the Saudi city venue for a new international cycling race set to take place in the Kingdom.

Chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal is expected to reveal on Thursday that Riyadh will host the five-stage Saudi Tour 2020 from Feb. 4 to 8.

The inaugural edition of the 2.1 category race is being staged by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organizer of the world-famous Tour de France.

Details of the route in and around the Saudi capital were due to be released during a press conference at Riyadh’s Digital City.

The cycling event precedes the Tour of Oman (Feb. 11 to 16) which is facing cancelation following the death of Sultan Qaboos.

ASO chief executive, Yann Le Moenner, said: “We are involved in the emergence of a new racing scene in the Middle East, which corresponds to the riders’ demand at the beginning of the year.

“The creation of the Saudi Tour and its sustainable installation in the calendar is part of this movement. This new race represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders, and a nice opportunity for the television viewers who follow the race to discover new landscapes.

“This is also, for us, an occasion to contribute to the development of cycling across the Kingdom,” he added.

Saudi Cycling Federation chief Sabah Al-Kraidees said it was an “honor” to have the inaugural Saudi Tour, noting that the event would help to promote the Kingdom as a tourist destination.

“The Saudi Tour is a great opportunity to publicize the country’s varied territories and historic sites and to let visitors discover our sense of hospitality. This initiative fits perfectly with the ambition of Saudi Arabia to promote the Kingdom beyond its borders through sports and especially cycling,” he added.

The five-day event will feature stages in the hills around Riyadh and on urban circuits.

The Kingdom recently began issuing tourist visas after travel to the country was largely limited to pilgrims, business travelers and resident workers.