FIFA explains why Qatar whistleblower talks failed
A whistleblower’s demands for witness protection helped wreck
talks aimed at hearing alleged evidence that Qatar’s 2022 World Cup
bid paid $1.5 million in bribes, FIFA said on Tuesday.
The former bid employee’s promised interview at FIFA
headquarters had raised the prospect of an official investigation
into how Qatar won the five-nation contest to host the 2022
tournament, beating the United States in a final round of voting
”The whistleblower asked for conditions that could not possibly
be accepted by FIFA,” football’s governing body said in a
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said last month that the
whistleblower agreed to come to Zurich to discuss claims that FIFA
voters Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma were paid to support
The allegations were revealed by British lawmakers after The
Sunday Times newspaper submitted evidence to a parliamentary
Blatter said he ”anxiously” awaited evidence from the
newspaper and its source which could justify launching an
The FIFA president said he had wanted the matter resolved before
his June 1 election contest against Qatari rival Mohamed bin
Hammam. However, the whistleblower never arrived and FIFA declined
to refer the case to its ethics committee, which provisionally
suspended bin Hammam in a separate process examining allegations he
offered bribes to Caribbean voters in the presidential contest.
On Tuesday, FIFA detailed the whistleblower’s conditions to open
talks, which it ”could not agree” to.
”Among others, the problems were that the whistleblower gave no
warranty for the accuracy and correctness of the information he/she
was providing, asked for the right to destroy the information at
any time and that the information he/she provided not be made
public,” FIFA said.
FIFA also was asked to ”cover the costs to indemnify the
whistleblower for any breaches of contract he/she would be sued
for, for any liabilities and for any potential criminal proceedings
related to the agreement, as well as for an unlimited witness
Qatari officials have denied the allegations and suggested that
the whistleblower was ”an embittered ex-employee.”
Hayatou, the Confederation of African Football president from
Cameroon, and Ivory Coast official Anouma deny the allegations.
Blatter has suggested that, if fresh evidence does emerge,
Qatar’s 2022 bid could yet be investigated by his proposed
”committee of wise men” or a revamped ethics panel.
The FIFA leader was re-elected unopposed last Wednesday and
promised to reform FIFA’s judicial bodies and improve the
organization’s battered image.
Bin Hammam denies the presidential election bribery claims and
faces a full ethics hearing next month, alongside FIFA vice
president Jack Warner from Trinidad and two Caribbean Football