The state of Qatar secretly offered $400m to Fifa just 21 days before they were awarded the 2022 World Cup, leaked files appear to show.
The documents, seen by The Sunday Times, reportedly reveal that executives from the Qatari state-run broadcaster Al Jazeera - that was owned and controlled by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani - signed a television contract making the huge offer.
The contract is said to have also included an unprecedented success fee of $100m that would be paid to Fifa only if Qatar was successful in the 2010 World Cup ballot.
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The documents allegedly read: “In the event that the 2022 competition is awarded to the state of Qatar, Al Jazeera shall, in addition to the . . . rights fee, pay to Fifa into the designated account the monetary amount of $100m.”
Fifa is set to reportedly receive a multimillion-pound payment, which includes a portion of the $100m success fee, next month under the contract’s terms.
The Sunday Times also allege that another offer of $480m was made by Qatar three years later, meaning that Fifa was directly offered $880 million by the Qatari state in its efforts to host and retain the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
According to the newspaper, this contract is now part of a bribery inquiry by Swiss police.
The allegations are likely to cause further suspicion as to whether Qatar effectively bought the right to host the World Cup, which will be held in the capital of Doha in three years’ time.
Last night Damian Collins, the chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, told The Sunday Times that Fifa must freeze the Al Jazeera payments and launch an investigation into the contract that “appears to be in clear breach of the rules”.
Fifa refused to comment to The Sunday Times on the allegations.