Amidst the release of new evidence of alleged bribery in Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, the story of how the anger of the U.S.'s honorary bid chairman, former President Bill Clinton, might have sparked the ongoing investigation into the decision has emerged.
Clinton spent two years traveling and drumming up support for the United States' bid for the 2022 World Cup, so when all of that work went down to drain and Qatar was announced as the shock winner of the FIFA executive committee vote, he was frustrated, confused and ended up taking his emotions out on a hotel room mirror.
From the Telegraph:
Bill Clinton looked anything but happy as he strode into the Savoy Baur en Ville hotel in Zurich in December 2010. The receptionists could tell he was irritated, but had no idea just how angry he was.
After closing the door to his suite, he reached for an ornament on a table and threw it at a wall mirror in a fit of rage, shattering the glass. [...]
“Clinton was fuming,” said one well-placed source. “He felt humiliated and felt the decision did not make sense.”
Publicly, Clinton's response was a bit more composed, but still had a twinge of frustration to it.
“The FIFA people were in a mood to give it to people who didn’t have it. I think they wanted to make soccer a world sport,” he said the next day, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“They wanted to say, here’s a good non-terrorist, non-bigoted way of embracing — no really, I’m not trivializing this — a way to embrace the modernization attempt of the Middle East."
Since then, newspaper investigations into the vote and other murky FIFA dealings have implicated former FIFA vice president and Qatar's most senior football official at the time, Mohamed Bin Hammam, in allegedly handing out bribes to African officials in an attempt to influence votes. He was banned by FIFA in 2011 after being caught bribing Caribbean officials in his bid to become FIFA president.
Qatar, meanwhile, continues to deny any wrongdoing and one newspaper has decided to tell the English press doing all of this investigating to "sod off."
With the World Cup in Brazil coming up, it's important to remember Clinton in happier footballing times — drinking Budweisers with former U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra after their win over Algeria at South Africa 2010...
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