Released court documents are beginning to show how much money Qatar shelled out to receive the 2022 FIFA World Cup. A filing made by a Philadelphia-based organization revealed Qatar transferred millions to FIFA committee members. The Qatar National Bank (QNB) sent these funds directly. Committee members are in charge of selecting a host nation for each World Cup tournament.
Tablet reports that documents from the QNB list names, bank account numbers, and exact amounts of money that changed hands. The magazine also points out that around $330 million went to 22 people between February of 2009 and December 2010. Voting took place on selecting a 2018 and 2022 World Cup host on Dec. 2, 2010.
FIFA members that voted for Qatar received the most in bribes
Qatar ultimately collected enough votes to beat out the United States as the host country for the 2022 competition. In the final round of balloting, the Middle Eastern country had 14 total votes, while the U.S. had eight. The outlet claims that a majority of the transferred money went to the 14 FIFA members.
Payments to the governing body officials came in two separate stages. Qatar sent part of the money before the vote. It sent the remaining funds once Qatar earned enough votes to host the 2022 World Cup. Many recipients of the bribery payments used offshore banking accounts. This tactic is typically used by people attempting to keep prying eyes away from business affairs.
Former Russian exec allegedly received biggest payout
Through released documents, Tablet reports that the largest payments from Qatari officials went to Vitaly Mutko. Russia’s former minister for sport allegedly received over $100 million in combined payments. An initial $72.6 million transfer occurred in early 2009. Qatar completed its payments to Mutko with a $34 million transfer after the voting occurred in December 2010. The International Olympic Committee banned Mutko in 2017.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar was a success on the pitch, but also the center of intense backlash. The tournament was the most-streamed World Cup in the competition’s history. Nevertheless, human rights activists lambasted Qatari organizers for the treatment of migrant laborers and strict LGBTQ+ laws.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Sven Simon
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