FIFA Official Allegedly Took Millions to Award Qatar 2022 Hosting Rights, FBI Investigation Intensifies

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | March 18, 2014 5:55 PM EST

Fresh allegations against FIFA hit the international governing body of soccer as one of the major officials is accused of taking millions as bribe in connection with awarding hosting rights of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar.

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Brazilian soccer legend Pele attends a news conference to present the FIFA World Cup global "Trophy Tour" in Paris March 10, 2014. The 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil from June 12 through July 13.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Jack Warner received $1.2 million from a company based in Qatar. Additionally, Mr Warner's son received $750,000, while one employee got $400,000. The entire sum of money was paid so that the Gulf country would be awarded that hosting rights of the Soccer World Cup in 2022. The U.K. newspaper reported that the money was awarded to the former vice president shortly after FIFA made the decision to grant hosting rights to Qatar in 2010.

Another interesting fact is that the company which allegedly paid millions to get hosting rights is presently run by a former official from FIFA. Such huge transactions were enough to draw the attention of the FBI which reportedly started investigating how Mr Warner might be involved in Qatar's bid to be the host of the 2022 Soccer World Cup. Mr Warner was the vice president in FIFA until 2011 when he was accused of facilitating bribes.

According to a BBC transcript published in 2006, FIFA is no stranger to bribing allegations. The transcript revealed one source claiming that top decision-makers of FIFA took bribes to grant commercial rights of the association. The source considered the bribe as a "very good business." The Daily Telegraph has further reported that Mr Warner's eldest son has been cooperating with the FBI in the investigation as a witness.

The decision to grant Qatar the hosting rights was one of the most controversial decisions by FIFA in its history. It was the first time FIFA decided to host a winter world cup apparently just to accommodate the Gulf country. Qatar is characterised by "subtropical dry" weather with intense heat in summer, which has every possibility to make it impossible for most nations to participate in the games. The climate of Qatar is classified (Koeppen-Geiger) as BWh climate which means a hot and dry desert climatic conditions.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes / )
Brazilian soccer legend Pele attends a news conference to present the FIFA World Cup global "Trophy Tour" in Paris March 10, 2014. The 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil from June 12 through July 13.
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