The controversial awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar remains in the crosshairs of the French authorities. L’Equipe are reporting that former Qatari FIFA vice-president and former AFC president Mohamed bin Hamman has been issued an international arrest warrant last June. The French authorities consider Bin Hamman as the mastermind behind the Emirate’s shock win in the 2010 attribution of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The outlet reports that Bin Hamman, who was once a candidate for the FIFA presidency opposite incumbent Sepp Blatter, did not turn up for several hearings for which he was summoned. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
L’Equipe understands that the 74-year-old Qatari executive stands accused of “acts of private corruption related to the awarding of the 2022 Football World Cup.” Bin Hammad has received a lifetime ban of all FIFA-related activities in 2012 after being accused of buying votes in the organization’s presidential race. Le Monde adds that Bin Hammad, since his lifetime ban, has been silenced by the Emir of Qatar Tamim Ben Hamad Al Thani and his predecessor Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani.
Parquet National Financier, France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, is in charge of the matter. France’s highest financial court understands that Bin Hammad tried to “neutralize a vote favorable to Qatar’s competitors” on December 2, 2010, when the 2022 World Cup was awarded to the Emirate, by financially taking charge of president of the Oceanian Football Confederation Reynald Temarii’s legal fees. Temarii has since been indicted of private and passive corruption. Temarii previously admitted that he received a luxury watch after meeting the Emir of Qatar in 2010. Out of remorse, the Tahitian reportedly threw it in the Tahaa Lagoon, in the Pacific Ocean.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval