New US Justice Department indictment says Russia and Qatar paid FIFA for World Cups
The United States Department of Justice on Monday said that bribes were paid to members of FIFA’s top board to secure votes for the hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
According to the prosecutors, representatives working for Russia and Qatar bribed FIFA executive committee officials to swing votes in the crucial hosting decisions.
Three media executives and a sports marketing company were charged with a number of crimes, including wire fraud and money laundering, in connection with bribes to secure television and marketing rights for international soccer tournaments. The indictment states that the three South American members of FIFA’s 2010 executive took bribes to vote for Qatar to host the 2022 tournament.
The Department of Justice also alleges that then FIFA vice-president Jack Warner was paid $5 million through various shell companies to vote for Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.
Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy rejected the charges: “Despite years of false claims, evidence has never been produced to demonstrate that Qatar won the rights to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 unethically or by means that contravened FIFA’s strict bidding rules”, it said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Russia received the right to host the World Cup completely legally. It is in no way linked to any bribes. We reject this. And Russia hosted the best soccer World Cup in history, which we are proud of”.
“The FIFA Ethics Committee has already imposed sanctions, including life bans, on football officials mentioned in this process”, a FIFA spokesman said.