Qatar World Cup inquiry ‘creating difficulties,’ says FIFA candidate

The investigation into the circumstances of Qatar's successful World Cup bid in Dec. 2010 had not been taken well by some FIFA officials, said Jerome Champagne

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Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA executive who is the only person yet to make a formal declaration of candidacy for the football body’s May presidential race, told Al Arabiya News Channel that the investigation into Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid was “creating difficulties for some.”

The investigation into the circumstances of Qatar’s successful World Cup bid in Dec. 2010 – led by FIFA ethics chief Michael Garcia – was not taken well by some officials in the world’s top footballing body, Champagne said.

“It is clear that this investigation is creating difficulties for some…. It’s a decision of the FIFA congress, and the executive committee cannot change the decision of the congress. Don’t forget, FIFA belongs to the 209 national federations, and they vote in the congress…. I’m fully behind the investigation.”

Three steps

While stressing that the ongoing investigation would time take time, the FIFA candidate – who will challenge long-standing FIFA boss Sepp Blatter – emphasized three main issues that the footballing body would aim to solve.

“We have three processes which need to conclude until the end of the year. The investigation by Mr. Garcia, the situation of the workers, and the process into trying to find a date [to possibly reschedule the World Cup in Qatar due to the Gulf state’s high tempatures during the set June-July tournament],” he said.

In an interview earlier this week with British newspaper The Mail on Sunday, Champagne promised to consider stripping Qatar of the 2022 World Cup if he were to be elected president, citing poor treatment of workers and the intense summer heat as reasons.

“We cannot go and rejoice in stadiums, have a celebration of football, knowing it has been done on the blood, suffering and death of workers,” he told the newspaper.

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