Who is the congresswoman named in the plot that smeared US 2022 World Cup bid
The Qatar World Cup bidding team broke FIFA rules by running a secret campaign to sabotage their rivals, a new report has revealed.
The Sunday Times said it has obtained documents through a whistleblower who worked with the Qatar bid.
According to the report, the bid team used a PR agency -that did business with Syrian president Bashar Assad and late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi- and former CIA operatives to disseminate fake propaganda about its main competitors, the United States.
How did it work, and who was involved in it?
One document reveals that the firm “recruited a group of American physical education teachers to ask their US Congressman to introduce legislation opposing the US World Cup on the grounds that the money spent on the football tournament can be better used on financing high school sports, which have suffered during the recession.”
Just days before the official FIFA vote in 2010, Politico said Detroit Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick was introducing a resolution aimed at throwing a wrench in the gears of the US bid to host the 2022 World Cup, up for a vote by FIFA.
Kilpatrick had introduced the resolution: “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives concerning the United States failure to fully fund K-12 physical education programs while instead lobbying to host international sports events,” the site said.
Kilpatrick’s office noted later that the resolution was being drafted but wasn’t formally introduced.
However, partly because of that discussion over the draft, FIFA expressed concern about the seriousness of the US government in its desire to host the games.
In a report, FIFA described the legal risk of holding the bid in the United States as “medium” and noted that none of the requisite legislation had yet passed through Congress. (READ: Excerpt from FIFA's report).
Meet the Kilpatricks
Interestingly, Kilpatrick’s name has cropped up in courtrooms and family corruption scandals and also embroiled in the fall of the Democrats in Detroit, which used to be one of their electoral stronghold.
She was a long-time Detroit Democrat but her biggest undoing was about her name.
Kilpatrick was US Representative for Michigan’s 13th Congressional district from 1997 to 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party. In August 2010, she lost the Democratic primary election.
The seven-term congresswoman’s son, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, is serving long prison time. When Carolyn Kilpatrick launched her bid for re-election in 2010, at a Detroit union hall, the announcement came only two months after she had testified before a federal grand jury on a topic she would not discuss publicly, according to US media outlets.
The flamboyant Kwame Kilpatrick was forced by the mayor’s office in 2008 after perjuring himself about an affair with his chief of staff. He was sent to prison for violating probation and while incarcerated was indicted by a federal grand jury on 19 counts of fraud and tax evasion.
Her successor in the seat Hansen Clarke has said then that the image of the region was tainted by Detroit’s reputation of being represented by arrogant, corrupt, self-serving politicians. “Businesses don’t want to locate here because they can't trust the city because of the politics,” Clarke said then.
Currently, Kwame Kilpatrick is scheduled to be released in 2037 when he is 67 years old. Some supporters believe he didn’t get a fair trial, while others say 28 years is simply more time than he deserves for his crimes, according to CBS Detroit.
That scandal looms large over Michigan politics and observers say the Kilpatrick name has become toxic among voters.
Also her husband Bernard Kilpatrick, who opened a consulting company almost the day his son, ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, took office, was sentenced for his role in the wide-ranging Detroit public corruption scandal run by her son.
- Financial Times: FIFA under pressure to hold inquiry into Qatar World Cup bid
- FIFA members, UK officials call for enquiry into Qatar 2022 corruption evidence
- The Sunday Times reveals how Qatar sabotaged 2022 World Cup bid rivals
- Company hired by Qatar to sabotage US World Cup bid did PR for Assad, Gaddafi