A series of leaked emails suggest a Qatari football official paid $5 million to raise the Arab country’s chances of hosting the 2022 World Cup, a UK newspaper has reported.
The Sunday Times released more than 30 leaked emails out of “hundreds of millions” of documents it says it obtained, some of which point to evidence of alleged “slush funds” that apparently helped Qatar win its bid.
The documents relate to payments allegedly made by Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former executive member of FIFA, football’s international governing body.
“[Bin Hammam] used 10 slush funds controlled by his private company and cash handouts to make dozens of payments of up to $200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations who held sway over how the continent’s four executive (Exco) members would vote,” the Sunday Times said.
In one of the documents revealed by the Sunday Times, Kalusha Bwalya, president of the Zambian football association and former international footballer, allegedly wrote to Bin Hammam after a meeting in 2009.
“As per our conversation, please Mr President if you could assist me with about 50 thousand Dollars for my Football association and personal expenditures. I hope to repay you in the near future, as the burden is little bit too hard for me at this moment,” he wrote.
Bin Hammam’s staff allegedly paid $50,000 into Bwalya’s bank account, and there is no evidence to suggest he ever repaid the debt, the newspaper said.
Bwalya wrote to Bin Hammam’s assistant again in April 2011, saying he was “a little thin on resources”. Later that month, $30,000 dropped into his account, the newspaper said