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Dirty Tackle

World Cup 2022 bid investigation reveals former FIFA vice president was paid millions by Qatari company

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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An investigation conducted by the Telegraph has revealed payments of nearly $2 million from Qatari ex-Asian Football Confederation president Mohammed bin Hammam to former FIFA vice president Jack Warner and his sons shortly after Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup.

From the Telegraph:

Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, appears to have been personally paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the decision to award the country the tournament.

Payments totalling almost $750,000 were made to Mr Warner’s sons, documents show. A further $400,000 was paid to one of his employees.

It is understood that the FBI is now investigating Trinidad-based Mr Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid, and that the former Fifa official’s eldest son, who lives in Miami, has been helping the inquiry as a co-operating witness.

Warner resigned from his posts within FIFA in 2011 after both he and Bin Hammam, who was an opposition candidate to Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency, were suspended over allegations that they conspired to bribe Caribbean football officials to vote for Bin Hammam in the FIFA election. Bin Hammam was given a lifetime ban that was later annulled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The documents uncovered by the Telegraph reveal sizable payments from Bin Hammam's company to Warner, his two sons and an employee shortly after Russia and Qatar won the votes to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively, in December 2010. The payments were processed by a bank in New York, which the paper claims has drawn FBI interest. The Telegraph confronted Warner about this matter, putting a camera in his face as he walked down the street, and he refused to respond.

Even if these payments are somehow revealed to be bribes for World Cup bid votes, it seems unlikely that hosting duties will be taken away from Qatar. Revelations that hundreds of migrant workers have died engaging in slave labor to build Qatar's infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup have done nothing to convince FIFA to change course, so a few more bribery accusations are unlikely to do that either. FBI involvement could impact that, but operating above the law is what FIFA does best.

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Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!

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