01 June 2015
“It will blow over” tends to be Qatar’s unofficial response to criticism of its World Cup bid, but with a FIFA corruption scandal exploding onto the world’s front pages, the Gulf state has glumly realised it may have a real fight on its hands.
Super-rich Qatar would suffer no economic pain if it lost the right to host the world’s top soccer event. At stake is influence, including its use of sport as a platform to operate on the global stage, opening doors to finance, media, diplomacy, property and tourism.
Years of allegations of corruption in the vote that won it the 2022 cup, and of abuse of migrant workers, mean Qatar has struggled to convince world opinion of the justness of its cause.
… “It’s not good enough,” said James Dorsey, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “They have never given chapter and verse of what their dealings were with Bin Hammam.”
Dorsey said the Qataris “never expected this, which was naive. And when it started they basically felt they couldn’t win, so they figured they would let it would blow over, despite being warned it won’t blow over.”
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 02/06/2015