Qatar’s former PM accuses West of racism over FIFA bribery claims

Qatar's former Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani Qatar’s World Cup bid was won in a “fair competition”. (Fox News)

Accusations that Qatar bribed FIFA officials to gain the hosting right for the 2022 World Cup are “not fair” and are based on Western Islamophobia and racism towards Arabs, according to former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani.

The former premier, who was in office from 2003 to 2007 appeared yesterday on Fox News and offered his opinion on the FIFA scandal involving numerous present and former officials accused of corruption.

Fourteen FIFA officials have been arrested in a Swiss investigation dubbed “Operation Darwin” involves a questioning of all members of the executive council involved in the 2010 vote to award the 2018 and 2022 cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

At that times, the decision to award Qatar the hosting rights was met with skepticism given concerns over the soaring temperatures in the region in summer which reach 50 degrees Celsius and the lack of footballing infrastructure.

Sheikh Hamad said he blamed the media for drumming up corruption claims during Qatar’s World Cup bid which he claims was won in a “fair competition.”

Sheikh Hamad also tolf the U.S. broadcaster: “I support, of course, Russia to have their turn in 2018. But if you see the talks, it’s all about Qatar.”

“Is it because it’s an Arab, Islamic, small country? That’s the feeling of the people in the region,” he continued.

The former prime minister’s comments comes ahead of FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s interview with Swiss prosecutors who are conducting an investigation into allegations of FIFA officials accepting bribes.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47