Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee’ is the entity responsible for organizing the Gulf state’s 2022 World Cup bid and the resulting preparations
Clinton Foundation website discloses donations from the committee of between $250,001 and $500,000, including a donation in 2014
Qatar itself has donated betwen $1 million and $5 million to the foundation, and did it before 2014
The tiny Middle Eastern country won the rights to host the 2022 global soccer tournament in December 2010
Clinton Foundation later said Qatar worked toward ‘utilizing its research and development for sustainable infrastructure at the 2022 FIFA World Cup’
The fast-moving FIFA bribery scandal now has a Clinton connection, after news that the nation of Qatar and its 2022 World Cup organizing committee donated between $1.25 million and $5.5 million to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
It’s unclear how much of the money changed hands before December 2010, when Qatar won the rights to host the event. The foundation’s websiteonly notes that some of the State of Qatar’s money came last year.
The foundation also does not report exact amounts – disclosing only wide ranges. Qatar itself donated between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000. Its World Cup committee contributed between $250,001 and $500,000.
FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, is the World Cup’s governing body. Founrteen people including seven of its top FIFA officials were charged Wednesday with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.
The FIFA officials, including vice president Jeffrey Webb, were arrested at a five-star hotel in Zurich, Switzerland and dragged out in handcuffs by Swiss authorities earlier in the day.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the indictments, including some against commercial sports marketers in the United States.
The defendants are accused of taking kick-backs and other bribes in exchange for awarding contracts and other FIFA perks to favored companies, nations and individuals.
Ironically, it’s a similar charge to what the Clintons and their sprawling philanthropic organization have faced since April.
Hillary Clinton in particular has had to begin her second run for president under the shadow of claims that her family foundation reaped a windfall – and her husband cashed in on lucrative speeches in exchange for official favors from the State Department she ran from 2009 to 2013.The power couple will likely claim that Qatar’s success with a World Cup bid and its donations to their foundation are unrelated.
The foundation’s website praises the Qatari World Cup committee for being ‘committed to utilizing its research and development for sustainable infrastructure at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to improve food security in Qatar, the Middle East, and other arid and water-stressed regions throughout the world.’
And Bill Clinton himself was reportedly livid beyond words when the U.S. lost the bid for the 2022 tournament.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported then that he was so angry after the announcement that Qatar had won that he closed the door to his hotel suite and hurled an object at a mirror, shattering the glass.
Australia and Japan were seen as likely rivals who might have won soccer’s ultimate quadrennial event, but not Qatar. The country at the time lacked the basic requirements, including a large enough soccer stadium.
The ‘sustainable development’ initiative linked to the Clinton Foundation includes a plan to use carbon neutral solar power to fuel air conditions in five stadiums yet to be built.
It’s unlikely that the Clinton Foundation was bribed for Bill’s support, since the U.S. was in the running and Clinton himself was instrumental in guiding that effort.
But Qatar itself is not above corrupt maneuvering.
A Qatari firm linked to the World Cup bid paid former FIFA vice president Jack Warner and his family more than $2.17 million.
And Mohammed Bin Hammam, Qatar’s most senior football official at the time, reportedly orchestrated another $3 million in bribes to FIFA members in exchange for their votes.
Bin Hammam was alleged to have used 10 secret accounts to make dozens of payments, including some to 30 African soccer associations’ leaders. Those cash recipients were in a position to lobby Africa’s four ‘executive’ FIFA members to vote for Qatar.
Bin Hammam ran for the presidency of FIFA in 2011 but ended up being banned after he was caught trying to buy votes in the process.