Organizers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar are certain that hosting rights to the tournament will not be taken away, despite a FIFA investigation into alleged bribery and corruption, according a report from Al Jazeera.
Qatari officials have denied misconduct, but allegations that the Gulf State bought the World Cup have persisted. Qatar 2022 communications director Nasser Al Khater told Al Jazeera that organizers are not concerned that the World Cup be stripped from the country:
"We are not worried, we are confident that the World Cup will take place in Qatar."
Al Khater also said that Qatar has held itself to "the highest ethical standards" throughout the entire process.
Qatar was selected to host the 2022 World Cup in December 2010 over bids from the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea. Since FIFA made its selection, rumors have persisted that Qatar bribed its way to victory, allegations that gained steam in March when The Telegraph reported that Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam had paid millions of dollars to former FIFA vice president Jack Warner.
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Since the report was released, pressure has mounted on FIFA to take action, or at least mount a serious investigation. A number of World Cup sponsors called on FIFA to look into the allegations, and politicians from both the United States and Britain have urged FIFA to take action.
FIFA's ethics committee has been looking into the bribery allegations.
The 2022 World Cup has faced criticism for more than alleged corruption. Roughly 4,000 migrant workers in Qatar will die by time the 2022 World Cup starts if the current pace of worker fatalities remains stable. A number of media outlets, including ESPN and The Guardian, have published in-depth investigations into the country's poor treatment of migrant workers, many of whom are building infrastructure and stadiums for the World Cup.
FIFA has also admitted that the 2022 World Cup may have to be played in the winter rather than the summer, as Qatar's summer heat would be potentially dangerous for players.
Though FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said that awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup was "a mistake," he also labeled allegations of Qatar 2022 corruption as "racism."
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- Stanley Kay