Qatar accused of sabotaging Australian World Cup bid



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    The Qatar 2022 World Cup bid team broke FIFA rules by running a secret campaign to sabotage their rivals for the tournament, News Corp has claimed.

    The Sunday Times newspaper says it has been passed documents by a whistleblower who worked with the Qatar bid.

    It says the bid team used a PR agency and former CIA operatives to disseminate fake propaganda about its main competitors, Australia and the United States.

    This allegedly involved recruiting prominent figures to criticise the bids in their own countries, thus giving the impression they lacked support.

    FIFA rules state that bidders must “refrain from making any written or oral statements of any kind, whether adverse or otherwise, about the bids or candidatures of any other member association which has expressed an interest in hosting and staging the competitions”.

    Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said it “rejected” all the claims made by the paper.

    According to The Sunday Times, the alleged smear campaign included paying a professor 9,000 dollars ($A12,000) to write a damning report on the economic cost of a US World Cup, recruiting journalists and bloggers to promote negative stories in the US, Australian and international media, and organising grassroots protests at rugby matches in Australia.

    It has been reported that the following was said in an email: “We have a group of pro-rugby students in Melbourne, Australia, who will start appearing at rugby matches with signs ‘Hands off Our Rugby No to World Cup!’ in June.”

    The leaked documents also revealed that a group of American PE teachers had been recruited to ask congressmen to oppose a US World Cup on the grounds the money would be better spent on high school sports, the paper claimed.

    Lord Triesman, former chairman of the Football Association and England bid chairman, urged FIFA to “look at the evidence thoroughly” and said Qatar should not be allowed to “hold on to the World Cup” if they were shown to have broken FIFA rules.

    The Qatar bid team has been accused of corruption but was cleared after a two-year inquiry by the FIFA ethics committee.

    “The Supreme Committee rejects each and every allegation put forward by the Sunday Times,” Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said in a statement.

    “We have been thoroughly investigated and have been forthcoming with all information related to our bid, including the official investigation led by US attorney Michael Garcia.

    “We have strictly adhered to all FIFA’s rules and regulations for the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process.”

    The Press Association has contacted FIFA for comment.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (58)

    • July 29th 2018 @ 3:25pm
      Internal Fixation said | July 29th 2018 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

      And how much of my tax money was spent on this??

      • Roar Rookie

        July 29th 2018 @ 3:33pm
        Waz said | July 29th 2018 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

        A fraction of the tax money given to AFL. Deal with it.

        • July 29th 2018 @ 9:01pm
          Internal Fixation said | July 29th 2018 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

          Actually I’m completely against AFL and NRL getting tax free status.

          I’m not a Victorian taxpayer but tying the GF to government funding would make me furious.

          But nice incorrect assumption.

          When your father has to wait for 2 years for an appointment in a public hospital to get a hip replacement perhaps you will care more how your tax dollars are spent?

          • July 29th 2018 @ 10:45pm
            Ernst Blofeld said | July 29th 2018 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

            Why, A-League clubs are all privately owned whilst all AFL clubs are community clubs. Deal WITH THAT!

        • Roar Guru

          July 29th 2018 @ 9:17pm
          Cousin Claudio said | July 29th 2018 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

          Here’s a little reality check.

          The money for your father’s hip operation was spent on caviar and lobsters for the minister for trade’s entourage at the Gold Coast Suns’ Victorian Rules game in China.

    • Roar Guru

      July 29th 2018 @ 3:36pm
      Vinnie Gorham said | July 29th 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

      The most bizarre part of the story for me: “Organising grassroots protests at rugby matches in Australia”

      • Roar Rookie

        July 29th 2018 @ 4:11pm
        Waz said | July 29th 2018 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

        Why is that bizarre? A bid criteria was that any bidding country would have to demonstrate broad community support so protests at Rugby games would negate that. It’s right out of the “fake news” agenda that’s running through western “democracy” right now.

        The Australian bid was so flawed though and just highlighted our inability to host the WC without major investment in infrastructure.

        • July 29th 2018 @ 4:30pm
          marron said | July 29th 2018 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

          Yes, so the question then becomes… were there protests at Rugby games?
          If not, was the idea to create the fake news that there were protests at Rugby games?
          Or, is the idea that this was a thing, itself fake news meant to destabilise the Qatar WC?
          It’s a sad world innit.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 29th 2018 @ 4:37pm
            Waz said | July 29th 2018 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

            Yeah, it’s a sad world alright.

    • July 29th 2018 @ 4:28pm
      marron said | July 29th 2018 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

      I assume they also got to the directors of the bid video.

      • July 30th 2018 @ 12:28am
        MQ said | July 30th 2018 @ 12:28am | ! Report

        Yes, that was such a terrible video that I always suspected it had been sabotaged from the inside.

        The question is: where was the oversight and quality control? Who gave the final tick off to submit such an embarrassing video?

      • July 30th 2018 @ 9:45am
        AGO74 said | July 30th 2018 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        It all makes sense now!

    • July 29th 2018 @ 5:07pm
      RbbAnonymous said | July 29th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

      I don’t care. At the end of the day our bid was not good enough. We also didn’t need anyone from Qatar to destabilize or discredit our bid. There was plenty of opposition within Australia
      so we didn’t secure the world cup. I also don’t think we ran a clean cut campaign. Lots of shady wheeling and dealing. I hope we never bid for it again. Let it go already.

    • July 29th 2018 @ 5:22pm
      Guy Fox said | July 29th 2018 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

      “A group of pro-Rugby students in Melbourne, Australia, will start appearing at rugby matches with signs, ‘Hands off our rugby, No to World Cup”

      Pro-rugby students. In Melbourne. Rugby matches………that is so ridiculous – the funniest thing I have ever heard!

    • Roar Guru

      July 29th 2018 @ 8:00pm
      Cousin Claudio said | July 29th 2018 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

      Australian football fans are used to being sabotaged.

      Interesting world we live in when its ruled by greed and money.

      • July 29th 2018 @ 9:41pm
        c said | July 29th 2018 @ 9:41pm | ! Report

        thanks cuz

      • Roar Guru

        July 29th 2018 @ 10:50pm
        Cousin Claudio said | July 29th 2018 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

        • July 29th 2018 @ 11:28pm
          Sam said | July 29th 2018 @ 11:28pm | ! Report

          What else do you have in your conspiracy theories archives Cuz?

          • July 30th 2018 @ 9:11am
            lunchboxexpert said | July 30th 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

            None of these are “conspiracy” theories. They are pretty well established, the media owners and business elites decide what games we plebs watch and follow. They control the money flows and can direct governments to fund their stadiums. They whip up feelings of hostility and angst amongst a few plebs as though they have the plebs best interests at heart, only to sell out the plebs at the first opportunity to make some money.

            • July 30th 2018 @ 4:10pm
              Norm said | July 30th 2018 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

              Quite right, Lunchbox. Look at all the Friday night games Carlton got in the AFL. And it has now been announced they get a prime-time Saty night game in the final rpund!

        • Roar Guru

          July 30th 2018 @ 12:11am
          Cousin Claudio said | July 30th 2018 @ 12:11am | ! Report

          Its no conspiracy Pip, these are real photos and evidence of Victorian Rules fans behaving badly, “like sokka hoolicans”.

          Its known as balancing the ledger.

          I love the shots of Victorian Rules male fans bashing female fans – its a great look.

          • July 31st 2018 @ 8:23pm
            Kurt said | July 31st 2018 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

            You enjoy watching images of people being assaulted. I think you need to talk to someone Claudio, all this fear and hate is going to burn you up.

        • July 30th 2018 @ 7:24am
          Neil said | July 30th 2018 @ 7:24am | ! Report

          Good posts, good info.

        • August 7th 2018 @ 8:17am
          Neil said | August 7th 2018 @ 8:17am | ! Report

          Read the article and am sad to say it is true, putting on boots at the age of 6 in country QLD and now in my sixties I have witnessed footballs hard ride. I was annoyed recently being asked if I was English because I followed football when my forebears arrived in Australia in the 1840’s as though you are not a real Australian if you follow football.