Qatar denies trying to sabotage rival World Cup bidders

Berlin (dpa) - Qatar denied accusations on Sunday that it ran a secret campaign to sabotage other bidders in the race to host the 2022 football World Cup.

Qatar won the right to host the tournament after a FIFA vote in 2010 but Britain's Sunday Times newspaper has alleged the bid team used an American public relations team and ex-CIA agents to covertly smear rivals - especially the US and Australia.
This would have been against FIFA rules. World football's governing body investigated the Qatar bid over allegations of corruption but in 2014 the bid was cleared of wrongdoing.
Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said in a statement that it "rejects each and every allegation put forward by the Sunday Times.
"We have been thoroughly investigated and have been forthcoming with all information related to our bid, including the official investigation led by US attorney Michael Garcia," it said.
"We have strictly adhered to all FIFA's rules and regulations."
The Sunday Times said it had documents detailing its allegations but FIFA said "a thorough investigation was conducted by Michael Garcia and his conclusions are available in the report."
Garcia later resigned from his role as FIFA ethics investigator in protest at FIFA only publishing a summary of his report.
Qatar will be the smallest nation ever to host a World Cup and the heat there means the 2022 tournament will take place in November and December rather than the traditional timeframe of June and July.
The Qatar organizers have been dogged by controversy, with human rights groups denouncing the treatment of stadium labourers in a further blow to what will be the Middle East's first World Cup.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed an interest in increasing the number of teams at Qatar 2022 to 48 from 32. At present the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada and Mexico will be the first with 48 teams.


Sunday, July 29th 2018

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