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Russia, Qatar Deny Bribing FIFA Officials For Hosting Rights To 2018 And 2022 World Cup

FIFA Officials Received Bribes To Vote In Favour Of Awarding The 2018 World Cup To Russia And The 2022 Tournament To Qatar, According To US Justice Department Documents Released On Monday.

Agencies | Updated on: 08 Apr 2020, 02:45:40 PM
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The allegations are linked to a wide-ranging 2015 corruption scandal that left world football's governing body FIFA in turmoil and led to the downfall of then-president Sepp Blatter. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Doha:

Qatar on Tuesday called allegations it bribed FIFA officials for the right to host the 2022 World Cup "baseless" and said they "will be fiercely contested". According to US Justice Department documents released on Monday, FIFA officials received bribes to vote in favour of awarding the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. The Kremlin has also refuted the allegations. Qatar said it "strongly denies the allegations contained within the court papers". The timings of the global football spectacle, due to be held in November and December of 2022, remain unchanged by coronavirus which has already forced the postponement of the European football championships and the Tokyo Olympics. Both will now take place in 2021.

The allegations are linked to a wide-ranging 2015 corruption scandal that left world football's governing body FIFA in turmoil and led to the downfall of then-president Sepp Blatter. In the ensuing years, the US government has accused a total of 45 people and various sports companies of more than 90 crimes and of paying or accepting more than USD 200 million in bribes. "They are part of a long-standing case, the subject of which is not the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process," Qatar's Supreme Committe for Delivery said in a statement.

The Kremlin "categorically" denied allegations that Russia had bribed FIFA officials for the right to host the 2018 World Cup. (Image credit: Getty Images)

"Despite years of false claims, evidence has never been produced to demonstrate that Qatar won the rights to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 unethically or by means that contravened FIFA's strict bidding rules."

Russia Denies Bribery

The Kremlin on Tuesday "categorically" denied allegations that Russia had bribed FIFA officials for the right to host the 2018 World Cup. "Russia absolutely legally got the right to organise the World Cup," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He said the decision was "not linked to any bribes, we categorically deny this." "Russia organized the best football World Cup in history. We are proud of it," he added.

According to US Justice Department documents released Monday, FIFA officials received bribes to vote in favour of awarding the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the tournament in 2022 to Qatar. "We have read the articles in the media. We do not understand what it is about," Peskov said.

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The allegations are linked to a wide-ranging 2015 corruption scandal that left world governing body FIFA in turmoil and led to the downfall of then-president Sepp Blatter. In the ensuing years, the US government has accused a total of 45 people and various sports companies of more than 90 crimes and of paying or accepting more than USD 200 million in bribes.

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First Published : 08 Apr 2020, 02:45:40 PM