FIFA World Cup 2022: Explosive Netflix documentary alleges Qatar chief Hassan Al Thawadi offered $2.3m bribes

A member of Qatar’s World Cup bid has sensationally claimed three African officials were offered money to back the Arab nation in its bid for the tournament.

They are claimed to have been offered A$2.3million in exchange for their vote, The Sun reports.

Phaedra Almajid, in charge of international press for the bid, made the allegations in the explosive new Netflix series, FIFA Uncovered.

Qatar won hosting rights for the 2022 tournament in a FIFA vote ahead of Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the USA.

And Almaji alleges Hassan Al Thawadi, the head of the bid, offered money to FIFA chiefs from Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria in order to secure their vote.

Al Thawadi is now Secretary-general of the Supreme Committee in charge of the 2022 World Cup.

He is claimed to have made the offer to Issa Hayatou (Cameroon), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), and Amos Adamu (Nigeria).

Almajid told the doco, via the Times: “We were talking about how Africa had been given its chance to host the World Cup and how the Arab world should be given their chance, and then Hassan offered Hayatou $1 million for Hayatou’s football federation (Cameroon) and in return we wanted his vote.

“I remember there just being laughter and then him saying that is not enough, and so the price was upped to A$2.3m — just like that. It was just so simple: ‘We will give you this money for your football federation, you give us your vote and thank you so much.’

“One by one we did the same thing with Anouma and Adamu. A$2.3m was offered to each member that evening in exchange for their vote. It was verbal, I never saw money.”

Almajid alleges the offer came at a meeting of African football federations in January 2010, just under a year before the FIFA vote for the 2022 host nation.

All three African officials have denied any wrongdoing.

Almajid claims the proposed money was made to the federations, rather than the individuals themselves.

She added: “It was made very clear the money was going to football, it was never said it is going into your pocket, I do need to emphasise that. Where it ended up I have no idea.

“Before I went back to my hotel room, Hassan told me, ‘You never repeat this ever again to anyone’ and I was like, ‘OK.’”

Al Thawadi has strongly denied the claims.

He said: “My reaction, especially on the Phaedra situation, it’s frustration.”

“They are inherently false and there are facts on the ground that prove they are false.”

Almajid anonymously revealed the alleged offers to the Sunday Times after being sacked by Qatar’s bid, and later signed a statement withdrawing her claims.

Detailing why, Almajid explained in the doc: “I’m starting to get threats, anonymous calls, emails, social media.

“I was basically told either you sign an affidavit stating that you lied or else we are legally going to come after you.”

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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