Despite the negative press Qatar is getting for its autocratic regime, the country has become the first in the Middle East to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup will bring in visitors from around the world, and will help Qatar diversify its economy and increase its global reach. In addition to the economic benefits, there are a number of other ways in which hosting the World Cup could benefit Qatar.
The emirate of Qatar has been working on a World Cup bid for three decades. It has been known to use bribes to gain support. In 2010, the government of Qatar paid money to three men in Angola to vote in favor of the World Cup. The money was split into ten slush funds and paid to thirty presidents of African football associations. These payments were believed to be the first payments from Qatari representatives into FIFA’s account. The US Department of Justice has uncovered documents relating to the voting process in the 2022 World Cup.
During the 2010 bid, Qatar spent billions on French-made aircraft and soccer teams. It also invested in the French domestic league and Paris Saint-Germain. A month before the vote, Nicolas Sarkozy, then the French prime minister, hosted Michel Platini and Qatar’s prime minister at the Elysee Palace in Paris. It was at this meeting that Nicolas Leoz demanded an honorary knighthood in exchange for his vote.
In addition to investing in French soccer, Qatar spent billions of dollars on French-made aircraft and buildings for the World Cup. It also paid for dozens of hard cash payments of up to $200k to 30 presidents of African football associations.
According to an investigation by the US Department of Justice, FIFA officials took bribes in order to secure hosting rights in Qatar and Russia. The investigation was prompted by the publication of a Sunday Times exposé by journalist Blake and Calvert, which made allegations about Qatar’s bid. One of the journalists who wrote the article claimed that Qatar paid $1.5 million to Ivory Coast’s Issa Hayatou to support the World Cup bid. According to Hayatou, the bribe was not enough to win his vote. However, Hayatou reportedly claimed that Qatar’s representatives offered financial incentives to African football officials.
The FBI has been working with Steele to investigate corruption in FIFA, and has uncovered evidence of corruption by Chuck Blazer, an alleged source of the information. According to the investigation, the US Department of Justice has also uncovered evidence that Qatar bribed officials in the USA, France, and Brazil to obtain hosting rights.
The emirate of Qatar is also known to have a bad human rights record. Many of its migrant workers have died since winning the World Cup drawing. Some of them have been deported, and others have been jailed. It has also been said that Qatar’s treatment of women is terrible. Women are treated as second class citizens, and many migrant workers are paid less than $5 per day.