Sunday, June 7, 2015

Qatar to be stripped of 2022 World Cup

Qatar are likely be stripped of the 2022 World Cup, according to a former senior figure in their bid team, who turned whistleblower to expose corruption.

Phaedra Almajid says the weight of evidence of wrongdoing from her and others will be so overwhelming that FIFA will be left with no option but to find another host.

Almajid has been under protective custody of the FBI and she fears her safety will be compromised further if the tournament is taken away from the tiny oil-rich state, who shocked the world by winning the right to stage the 2022 event in 2010. 

While hoping justice is done, Almajid admits that the prospect ‘scares me a lot’ because some ‘extremists’ may feel she played a role in that happening.

She said: ‘There are people who are p***** off with me [for speaking out], and what really p***** them off is that I’m a female, Muslim whistleblower.’

Another consequence of recent events, Almajid believes, is that outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter may try to take 2022 from Qatar as part of a radical reform agenda designed to win him praise ‘and save his skin.’ 

Speaking for the first time since Blatter announced he wants a new election to pick his successor Almajid said: ‘I just don’t think Blatter actually intends to quit. Everything he does is very calculated. He’ll try very hard to save himself, I’m sure of it.’

Almajid, an Arab-American now based in the US, worked for Qatar’s 2022 bid team until early 2010.

She told the Mail on Sunday last year that a subsequent retraction of her allegations was coerced. In fear of her safety for herself and her family - she has two children, one of them severely disabled - she was taken into the protective custody of the FBI.

The FBI are leading the investigation which has led to 14 arrests, with even more expected. ‘The FBI have everything,’ she said.

Almajid also co-operated fully with a FIFA-funded probe led by Michael Garcia, a former US attorney for New York. 

Read full story HERE

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