At a surprise press conference on Tuesday, Sepp Blatter resigned as president of FIFA amid a growing corruption scandal.
This shocking move came just days after he was re-elected for a fifth term.
All of these political change-ups have sent Qatar stocks into a tizzy since Blatter’s resignation could mean bad news for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
The Qatar Exchange Index (QE) shot up 1.2%, the most in almost five weeks, immediately following Blatter’s re-election on May 29. It steadily continued rising, reaching as high as 12,230.87 on June 2, up almost 2.8% since the election announcement.
“Now with Blatter in again, investors are excited that the 2022 World Cup will probably go ahead unhindered,” Tariq Qaqish, a fund manager at Al Mal Capital PSC in Dubai, told Bloomberg after Blatter’s re-election.
However, now that Blatter has resigned, there’s speculation that Qatar’s hosting rights for the World Cup are in jeopardy.
Stocks shot right back down 2.4% after his shocking announcement on June 3, reaching as low as 11895.75. They have since rebounded 2.4%, up to 12,182.
The 2022 World Cup has been supersaturated with controversy from day 1: everything from the extremely hot temperatures to the conditions of the migrant workers.
And now, Swiss prosecutors have opened up a probe into Russia’s 2018 cup and Qatar’s 2022 cup following a US-led investigation that focused on alleged corruption in earlier decisions over venues.
So analysts and soccer fans alike will be closely watching to see what (if anything) happens with Qatar’s cup now that Blatter’s out — and what that means for Qatar’s stocks.