Qatar's incredible World Cup cost

It's been alleged that Qatar spent an incredible £17.2 billion directly and indirectly on deals — including legitimate trade deals — in the course of lobbying in the run-up to the 2010 vote that secured the hosting rights for 2022 World Cup.

The new research by the Mail on Sunday comes amid renewed calls for FIFA to overturn the controversial decision and details payments to African officials including As Adamu and Issa Hayatou.

Qatar won the final round of voting 14-8 against the USA in the executive committee ballot. The MoS analysis suggests that Qatar spent an astonishing £17.2 billion directly and indirectly on the way to victory.

Much of this outlay was on goods and services for Qatar — including aerospace orders, a football club, sponsorship agreements, land and general exposure.

There were also millions of pounds of cash payments made to a huge range of football officials from secret slush funds controlled by Qatar’s executive committee member Mohammed bin Hammam.

These payments and swathes of new detail about how Bin Hammam won the right for Qatar to host the event are detailed in a book published last week, The Ugly Game, by investigative journalists Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert.

Former FIFA head of security Chris Eaton has called for any new evidence to be considered by FIFA — even though he now works for Qatar. And a high-level group of European politicians — the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe — has approved a resolution calling on FIFA to re-run the ‘illegal’ bidding process.

Qatar is the world’s richest country in per capita income and even the £17.2bn is minor compared to the $200bn (£132bn) budgeted for World Cup facilities and supporting infrastructure.


Voter: Michel Platini (France) - £14.72bn

Spent on: Orders for airliners from France-based Airbus; buying PSG; setting up beIN SPORTS; and buying Ligue 1 TV rights, following a Nov 2010 meeting attended by Qatar’s Sheik Tamin, French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Platini, who admits voting for Qatar and says he was encouraged but not forced to do so.

Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay) - £1.33bn

Spent on: Energy infrastructure deal agreed between Sheik Hamad of Qatar and Paraguay’s president Fernando Lugo on Aug 18, 2010 after Qatar’s FIFA executive voter Mohamed bin Hammam’s planned trip to lobby Leoz was replaced with governmental trip.

Worawi Makudi (Thailand) - £1.23bn

Spent on: Gas deal arising from meeting, arranged by Bin Hammam, between key aides to Makudi at the Thai FA and Qatar’s most senior energy official on Aug 16, 2010 in Doha.

Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain) - £150m

Spent on: Sponsorship of Barcelona by Qatar Airways was one deal brokered via Spain’s voting pact with Qatar, which later became an open secret, even acknowledged by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Various African and struck-off officials - £99m

Spent on: Bid budget and miscellaneous expenses. This included cash spent on buying exclusive access to influence Confederation of African Football voters ($1.8m); meetings to offer $1m to the son of struck-off voter Adams Adamu for staging a dinner; and costs defending another struck-offer voter, Reynald Temarii of Oceania.

Julio Grondona (Argentina) - £59m

Spent on: Allegedly spent clearing the debts of Argentina FA; and unconfirmed sums paid by Qatar firm to sponsor November 2010 Argentina-Brazil friendly in Doha.

Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus) - £27m

Spent on: Piece of land owned by Lefkaritis in Nicosia by Qatar investment firm. Lefkaritis doesn’t deny the deal but denies any wrongdoing.

Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil) - £6.7m

Spent on: Sponsoring Brazil friendlies including against Argentina in Qatar in 2010 by Qatari interests.

Various officials - £4.8m

Spent on: Alleged cash bungs by Bin Hammam from 10 slush funds to a range of football officials from across Africa ($5m) and Asia ($1.7m) among others.

Issa Hayatou (Cameroon) & Jacques Anouma (Ivory Costa) - £1m each

Spent on: Alleged in Parliament that they were given grants for no-strings ‘development’ funding.

Jack Warner (Trinidad &Tobago) - £933,000

Other voters for Qatar included Chung Mong-joon of South Korea, whom Bin Hammam later helped secure honorary FIFA vice-presidency, and Junji Ogura of Japan, seen as squeaky clean, who voted for Qatar after Japan dropped out. Bin Hammam voted for Qatar and the 14th vote is understood to have come from either Senes Erzik of Turkey, whose PM is a close friend of the Qatar royals, or Hany Abo Rida of Egypt, paid to join Bin Hammam on campaigning trips.


Originally published by the Mail on Sunday


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