The Straits Times
Published on Jan 29, 2013

Football: French magazine questions Fifa's awarding of 2022 World Cup to Qatar


PARIS (AFP) - France Football magazine has raised questions about world body Fifa's awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, alleging it was tainted by corruption and collusion involving top figures in the game.

The weekly publication said in its latest edition published on Tuesday that the awarding of football's most prestigious tournament had "a whiff of scandal that begs the only question worth asking: should the vote be declared null and void?"

To back up its claims, the magazine, which dubbed the affair "Qatargate", quoted what it said was an internal e-mail in which Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke allegedly said that the tiny Gulf state had "bought the 2022 World Cup".

Valcke subsequently claimed a misunderstanding and insisted that the tone of the e-mail was "light-hearted".