A Qatari firm allegedly paid a FIFA official and his family $US2 million shortly after the country won the vote for the 2022 World Cup, the Telegraph reports.
The official, Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, was suspended by FIFA’s ethics committee in 2011, and resigned a few months later after being caught on tape urging Caribbean executives to take bribes before FIFA’s presidential election.
The FBI has launched an investigation into the payment, which the Telegraph says was so shady that “at least one bank in the Cayman Islands initially refused to process the payment amid fears over the legality of the money transfer.”
The Qatari firm in question, Kemco, is owned by Mohammed Bin Hammen — a former high-ranking FIFA official who was banned for life in 2011 after FIFA found him guilty of attempting to bribe executives to support his presidential campaign.
According to the Telegraph, Warner was allegedly paid $US1.2 million through one of his companies, J&D International. The official reason for the payment, according to one email obtained by the Telegraph, was to “offset legal and other related expenses associated with regard to an ongoing matter.” Warner’s sons were allegedly paid a combined $US748,000 by the same Qatari company, and one of his employees was paid $US412,000.
Warner was one of 22 FIFA officials who participated in the votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in 2010. Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, beating out the United States in a shocking decision.
Several of the officials have faced corruption allegations in the last three years, and nine of them are no longer on the committee.
FIFA and the Qatar World Cup committee has always maintained that the voting process was legitimate.
Alleged bribery is hardly the event’s only source of criticism.
In recent months it has come to light that at least 900 migrant workers have died while during construction projects for the event. The workers reportedly lived in substandard housing and were forced to work long hours without food.
Concerns over costs, heat, and the some of the country’s religious laws have grown louder in recent months as well.
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