Zim officials caught in Qatar WC bribery scam?

HARARE - A damning expose by the Sunday Times of the UK shows that several African football officials were clandestinely paid by Qatari billionaire Mohamed bin Hammam to help his country win the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Although the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is not part of Africa’s four executive (Exco) members that vote, a source yesterday said officials from Zimbabwe might have benefitted from Bin Hamman’s “generosity” due to its perceived influence in the voting pattern.

The Sunday Times reports that it is on possession of files, compiled by analysing an electronic database of hundreds of millions of emails, accounts and other documents, unlock the mystery of how a tiny desert state with no football infrastructure won the right to host the world’s biggest sporting tournament. This week they reveal how Bin Hammam.

The paper further claims that the former Fifa top executive, who is now banned for life by the world football-governing body from all football activities, used a huge chunk of his wealth to sway the vote in his home country’s favour.

“(Bin Hamman) Used 10 slush funds controlled by his private company and cash handouts to make dozens of payments of up to $200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations who held sway over how the continent’s four executive (Exco) members would vote,” claimed the paper.

“Hosted a series of lavish junkets for football presidents across Africa at which he handed out almost $400,000 in cash and met delegates privately to offer further payments while pushing for their support for the Qatar bid.

“Paid out at least €305,000 in legal and private detective fees for Reynald Temarii, the disgraced Oceania Exco member, after he was suspended for telling undercover reporters that he had been offered $12m for his vote. Temarii refused to resign as an Exco member, thus preventing his planned replacement from voting for Qatar’s rival Australia in 2022 and England in 2018.”

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