Published On: Mon, Jun 2nd, 2014

Qatar and FIFA engulfed in Wold Cup Bribery Scandal

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nsnbc : Qatar and FIFA became engulfed in a new scandal over the 2022 soccer world cup when the British The Sunday Times announced that it had a cache of documents proving bribery and corruption involved in awarding the world cup to the Gulf Kingdom. Last year FIFA caused a worldwide scandal when it awarded Qatar the world cup despite Qatar’s near world-record worst human rights record.

QATAR_FIFA_STADIUM_Doha Sam_TC_nsnbcThe Sunday Times reported that it obtained millions of secret documents proving that Mohamed bin Hammam lobbied on Qatar’s behalf ahead of a vote in December 2010, resulting in Qatar being “picked” to host the 2022 world cup instead of the United States.

The documents allegedly reveal that bin Hammam, a Qatari who used to be a vice president of FIFA, made dozens of payments to top soccer officials to build support for Qatar’s bid. Bin Hamman has been a member of FIFA’s executive committee for 16 years until he was expelled in 2012, for financial corruption during his time as the president of the Asian Football Confederation.

The Sunday Times claimed that bin Hammam gave cash gifts and paid for hospitality costs and legal fees for some FIFA colleagues, including Warner, as well as dozens of African soccer leaders.

The organizers of the 2022 World Cup denied the allegations, saying that bin Hamdan has not been playing any official role in the bidding process. The organizing committee claimed that it has upheld its ethical standards and integrity and add that their lawyers are looking into the matter.

The New York Times reports that most  of FIFA’s executive committee voters in December 2010 were bin Hammam’s longtime colleagues. Among them, Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil, Nicolás Leoz of Paraguay and Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago have since resigned while under investigation for corruption.

Migrant workers in Qatar.

Migrant workers in Qatar.

Near World Record Bad Human Rights and Worker’s Rights Record.

The scandal broke after the dust over FIFA’s choice and lack of consideration for Qatar’s near world-record bad human rights record had hardly settled. The Irish journalist and analyst Finian Cunningham responded to FIFA’s decision, saying that soccer:

It is proudly known to millions of fans worldwide as the “beautiful game,”but in Qatar’s case, it is coming to be seen as the “ugly game” – owing to the appalling poverty and human suffering that underlies that country’s hosting of the Football World Cup in 2022.

Christof Lehmann reported in a 2014 article on contemporary slavery and migrant workers that the annual value of the African and Arab slave trade is estimated at about 1.6 billion dollars per year. He added:

” One of the greatest Arab importers of  migrant workers who are working under slavery-like conditions, is Qatar. About 88 % of all workers in Qatar are migrant workers. Many of them are kept in appalling conditions. Violence and abuse, including sexual abuse is rampant. Many female migrant workers are literally being held as sex slaves.”

Both Free the Slaves and the International Labor Organization list Qatar among the worst nations with regard to human trafficking, slavery, workers’ rights, catastrophic lack of security at construction sites, criminal neglect from the side of construction companies and contractors, and a cohort of other issues. The government of Nepal recently announced that it would consider every fatal work accident of Nepali migrant workers in Qatar as a homicide until an investigation had proven whether it was a homicide or not.

Ch/L – nsnbc 02.06.2014

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