Media about the deal FIFA and Qatar: Infantino was aware of the “bonus”, but said nothing

The President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, apparently, knew about the strange contract between the Federation and Qatari broadcaster BeIN on the eve of the selection of the host country of the football world Cup in 2022. Knew but chose to forget. This is with reference to the results of a joint investigation last week said the French portal Mediapart, the British newspaper the Sunday Times and European investigative journalists European Investigative Collaborations (EIC).

In 2010, Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports, then known as Al Jazeera Sports, has signed a contract with FIFA in the amount of $ 400 million. 300 million cost of broadcasting rights of the competition, and another 100 million by a Qatari company promised to pay the bonus, “if the host country of the championship in 2022 will be Qatar.” On the part of the Qataris November 21, 2010 the contract was signed by the current President of BeIN Sports and football club “Paris Saint Germain” Nasser al-Khelaifi and his Deputy Youssef al-Obaidli. From the FIFA agreement was signed by the then head of the Federation Joseph Blatter and General Secretary Jerome valcke. December 2, passed a vote, and Qatar became the capital of the championship.

Such hundred-million bonus seemed hardly compatible with the anti-corruption policy of FIFA . Journalists Mediapart was able to consult confidential ethical code of the organization that applies to the countries applying for carrying out of a competition. It States that no organization relevant to the bid Committee of the country, should not apply to FIFA with the financial proposals related to the organization and conduct of the competition. Such a proposal with a high probability can lead to a conflict of interest. Thus, we can assume that BeIN in no way connected with the Qatari authorities, that is, then the ethical rules are not violated. But, in the opinion of most experts, “in such a small autocratic country like Qatar, almost all issues of national importance one way or another connected with the management elite”. In addition, he Nasser al-Khelaifi is a close ally of the Emir, and in fact the Minister without portfolio. The journalists ‘ questions about the mysterious “bonus” specified in the contract, the lawyers of al-Julaifi and al-Obaidly repliedthat “bonus” is “normal commercial practice” and the contract was made on a standard form.

But back to Infantino. In January 2018 Bonita Mersiades, a member of the bidding Committee of Australia, competing with Qatar for the championship, published a book. It without reference to any significant sources mentioned the deal of FIFA and BeIN. 2018 spring newspaper the Sunday Times published information about the questionable transaction. The British newspaper Mail On Sunday asked for the comment to Qatari broadcaster, which has redirected the request to FIFA, the chief of the Cabinet Infantino Matthias Grafstrom. He redirected the letter to a journalist’s superiors. Infantino said that “I would like to know whether bonus 100 million after the decision for 2022.” Grafstrom conducted its own investigation, which confirmed this information and have forwarded the relevant documents Infantino. Correspondence 2018 was available to Football Leaks and the German publication Der Spiegel. It turns out that Infantino in 2018 learned about the controversial episode, however that did not report it to the ethics Commission of FIFA and not initiated a further internal investigation.

In this context, particularly interesting seems the fact that in 2017, FIFA Secretary General Jerome valcke has rented a Villa in Sardinia. Journalists of the newspaper Le Monde was able to look at the contracts of ownership. They noted that it was bought for 5 million euros Qatari firm owned by close to Nasser al-Khelaifi businessman, and the means of its acquisition gave himself al-Khelaifi. Then the Villa was rented Walke.

Another interesting fact: in June 2018, the US, Mexico and Canada won the right to host the world Cup 2026. A few months before the vote with Fox and NBC signed with FIFA agreement on the rights to broadcast the competition. The contract also contained a clause “bonus” — 302 million dollars in case of victory in North American applications. “FIFA chose to legalize the practice of “winning” the bonus promised by the TV companies of the applicant countries”, — writes Mediapart.

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