A FIFA official, who sent an email that some claim suggest that Qatar bought the right to host the 2022 World Cup, is clarifying his statement, saying he meant no such thing.
Many in the soccer world were stunned when the tiny Middle East nation was awarded the World Cup. On Sunday, FIFA's former Vice-President Jack Warner, who was suspended for his alleged role in another bribery scandal, released an email that he received from FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.
The email was in reference to a man named Mohamed Bin Hammam, who was running for FIFA president against Sepp Blatter.
"For MBH (Bin Hamman), I never understood why he was running. If really he thought he had a chance or just being an extreme way to express how much he does not like anymore JSB (Blatter). Or he thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the WC (World Cup)."
In a statement on Monday, Valcke explained what he meant in that last sentence:
“I’d like to clarify that I may use in an email -- a “lighter” way of expression by nature -- a much less formal tone than in any form of correspondence. Having said that, when I refer to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in that email, what I wanted to say is that the winning bid used their financial strength to lobby for support.
“They were a candidate with a very important budget and have used it to heavily promote their bid all around the world in a very efficient manner.”
He went on to say that Qatar did not buy any votes, nor did it engage in any "unethical behavior."
Organizers in Qatar also denied any wrongdoing, saying in a statement:
“Mr. Valcke’s statement (to Warner) was clearly taken out of context, but again Qatar’s name has been dragged through the mud for absolutely no reason. We would like to reaffirm we won the World Cup bid with the best campaign and without breaching FIFA rules.”