Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has confessed that Qatar has always been a problem, in new statements made to Swedish newspaper Expressen.
Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA 2022 World Cup has been in the spotlight after several countries boycotted Doha over its support for terrorist groups over the years.
“But Qatar is a real problem. It has always been. It is also a matter investigated by authorities, from at least two different countries,” Blatter was quoted as saying.
FIFA’s former chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia said in a 430-page report – made public recently – that Qatar “may not have met the standards set out in the FIFA code of ethics or the bid rules”.
Allegations surrounding Qatar’s bid came to light, including how several FIFA officials accepted lavish gifts such as extravagant hotel accommodations, with three members even being flown out to Brazil on a private jet to meet the emir of Qatar at a party.
Qatar has also been criticized for its rights abuses against laborers who are employed to build its infrastructure for the World Cup. Doha ranked in the top five countries in the world when it comes to the prevalence of modern day slavery, according to the Global Slavery Index 2016 by the Walk Free Foundation.
Several reports have also said at least 1,200 workers have died while working on Qatar’s world cup sites. The International Trade Union Confederation estimates at least 4,000 more workers will die before the start of the tournament in 2022 if Qatar does not change its policy.