The Telegraph published damning allegations yesterday of bribery related to FIFA’s awarding of the 2022 World Cup bid to Qatar:
A senior Fifa official and his family were paid almost $2 million (£1.2m) from a Qatari firm linked to the country’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, The Telegraph can disclose.
Jack Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, appears to have been personally paid $1.2 million (£720,000) from a company controlled by a former Qatari football official shortly after the decision to award the country the tournament.
Payments totalling almost $750,000 (£450,000) were made to Mr Warner’s sons, documents show. A further $400,000 (£240,000) was paid to one of his employees.
It is understood that the FBI is now investigating Trinidad-based Mr Warner and his alleged links to the Qatari bid, and that the former Fifa official’s eldest son, who lives in Miami, has been helping the inquiry as a co-operating witness.
Following the sordid tale of bribery allegations is a tall order for even the most interested parties, with a dizzying array of charlatans and chancers (though Jack Warner seems to be a recurring character). There are rumours that Daryan Warner’s collaboration with the FBI may not be done yet, though much is uncertain. At least one source with knowledge of this story believes it’s only a matter of when, not if, the 2022 World Cup will be taken away from Qatar and awarded to an as-yet unnamed nation.
But we’re still left with the intractable questions over of the future of FIFA. Even the most conservative suggestions of meaningful reform come off as Pollyanaish, particularly as we’re now almost a year past the point Alexandra Wrage quit FIFA’s independent governance committee after accusing the world football governing body of failing to take the process seriously.
There is a faint light at the end of the tunnel with the prospect of new presidential challenge Jerome Champagne, although corruption and accountability don’t appear to feature much in his election platform. As of writing he has yet to comment on the allegations, and what they might mean for the future of the governing body. As we’ve learned from a certain North American mayor, at some point flagrant abuse of trust has a numbing effect. While there’s plenty of outrage, what change will there be to show for it?