Qatar deployed its political connections and natural gas wealth to help win the 2022 World Cup, according to allegations published by the Sunday Times.
For the second week running the newspaper has published details of meetings and deals that it claims demonstrate former Fifa executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam broke bid rules as he lobbied on behalf of his country’s bid.
The Qatar bid deny that Mr Bin Hammam, since banned for life from football, was directly linked to the bid or worked on their behalf.
Fifa sponsor Sony has called on world football’s governing body to investigate the allegations thoroughly.
As a Fifa partner, we expect these allegations to be investigated appropriately,” the company said in a statement to The Sunday Times.
“We continue to expect Fifa to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations.”
The latest allegations, gleaned from millions of documents in the possession of the newspaper, suggest Mr Bin Hammam was in contact with bid officials as he brokered meetings between senior Fifa officials and the Emir of Qatar.
The newspaper alleges Mr Bin Hammam met Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, weeks before the vote in December 2010, to discuss “bilateral sporting relations”.
Putin was backing Russia’s 2018 World Cup bid, which beat England on the way to winning the right to host the tournament.
It also alleges Mr Bin Hammam helped broker a natural gas deal between his country and Thailand.
It reports that an advisor to Fifa executive committee member Worawi Makudi met senior Qatari energy officials to discuss a deal.
Asked by Sky News if he was concerned about the allegation Mr Makudi said: “No, not at all.”
The Sunday Times also claims Mr Bin Hammam brokered meetings between the Emir and nine senior Fifa executive committee members, and distributed £1.7m from a slush-fund to Asian football officials…see more