A British newspaper alleged on Sunday that a former top Qatari football official paid $US5 million ($5.3 million) to get support for the emirate’s campaign to host the 2022 World Cup.
The Sunday Times said it had obtained millions of emails and other documents relating to alleged payments made by Mohamed Bin Hammam, the then FIFA executive member for Qatar.
It alleged that Bin Hammam, who is also the ex-Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, used slush funds to pay out the cash to top football officials to win a “groundswell” of support for Qatar’s World Cup bid.
Bin Hammam, who launched an abortive challenge against incumbent FIFA president Sepp Blatter, resigned from his FIFA and AFC posts in 2012, shortly before he was banned for life from football administration by the global governing body’s ethics committee.
The newspaper said Bin Hammam had made payments of up to $US200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations, and hosted hospitality events in Africa at which he handed out further funds, to get backing for Qatar’s bid.