French magazine 'France Football' today published a 20 page dossier entitled "Qatargate" which sets out their theory about a possible vote buying scandal that led to Qatar being named host of the 2022 World Cup. The magazine accuses FIFA, together with the French and Arab Emirates football federations of being complicit in the supposed plot.
'France Football' also points the finger at UEFA president, Michel Platini, as one of the organisers of the talks with the Qataris. Platini has admitted to being present at a dinner with French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the Qatar Prime Minister, where, according to 'France Football', the vote buying may have been arranged: "I was invited to dinner with Sarkozy and the Qatari Prime Minister was there. Mr Sarkozy never asked me during the dinner to vote for Qatar. He invited me to dinner, but they knew I would be independent and that I would vote for who I wanted to", Platini argues.
On 2 December 2010 Qatar was chosen as the hosts for the World Cup 2022, beating the USA, Australia, South Korea and Japan. FIFA president Joseph Blatter made the announcement in Zurich. Qatar won the candidature with 14 of the 22 votes of FIFA's executive committee, beating off the USA who had been favourites to win the contest. Furthermore, the Qatar bid was riddled with weak points, and also lacked plans for much of the required infrastructure.
Just after the award Platini himself admitted that he had voted for Qatar: "I voted for Qatar because it was time to give the tournament to a country from that part of the world. They had been candidates five times", he said.
This is not the first time there have been rumours of foul play in the award of the World Cup to Qatar. Some months ago FIFA ex-vicepresident Jack Warner insinuated the possibility that four members of the committee had received 20 million dollars to vote for the country. He named Issa Hayatou from Cameroon, Nicolás Leoz from Paraguay, Argentine Julio Grondona and Rafael Salguero from Guatamala.
The new report from 'France Football' contains new dates and facts, and poses the question as to whether Qatar should be removed as 2022 host and the process repeated.