Blatter to Beckham: who was in the room when Qatar got the World Cup

Vladimir Putin and Boris Johnson also feature as we select key people and look at what has happened to them since

Fifa executives who voted on World Cup hosts

Sepp Blatter … Then President of Fifa, overseer of bid process. Now Banned from football.

Julio Grondona … Then Fifa exco member. Now The Argentinian died in 2014, blamed by colleagues for corrupt payments in US indictments.

Michel Platini … Then President of Uefa, Fifa exco member. Now Has completed four-year ban from football.

Issa Hayatou … Then Fifa exco member. Now Accused in parliament of accepting $1.5m from Qatar in return for his vote. Also accused shortly before the vote of taking bribes for TV contracts. Strongly denies both charges. In February the Cameroonian had a one-year ban from football overturned at the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) due to “insufficient evidence”.

Jack Warner … Then Fifa exco member. Now Banned from football for life. Facing extradition from Trinidad to the United States for criminal prosecution.

Ángel María Villar … Then Fifa exco member. Now Fined for failing to co-operate with investigation into the World Cup bidding process. Arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds in 2017, resigned from Fifa. Charges against Spaniard were then dropped.

Chung Mong-joon … Then Fifa exco member Now Banned from football for six years by Fifa’s ethics committee for his role in South Korea’s 2022 World Cup bid but that was reduced to 15 months by Cas and ended in 2018.

Michel D’Hooghe … Then Fifa exco member. Now Admitted accepting a “small painting” from an adviser to Russia’s 2018 bid. Son Pieter offered a job at Qatar’s sports hospital shortly after the vote. “I did not exchange my son for a vote for Qatar,” the Belgian has clarified. Cleared of wrongdoing by Fifa’s Ethics Committee. Still at Fifa.

Ricardo Teixeira … Then Fifa exco member. Now Named by criminal investigation as recipient of bribes in relation to vast TV contracts, which Fifa under Blatter knew about. Such payments were not a crime under Swiss law at the time. The Brazilian was banned for life from football.

Mohamed bin Hammam … Then Fifa exco member and Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation. Now Banned from football for life over “conflicts of interest”.

Chuck Blazer … Then Fifa exco member. Now Deceased US prosecution whistle-blower. Admitted conspiring with other Fifa exco members to accept bribes in conjunction with previous World Cup bids.

Hayatou Issa (left), Jack Warner (centre) and Michel Platini at the host announcement for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Hayatou Issa (left), Jack Warner (centre) and Michel Platini at the host announcement for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Worawi Makudi … Then Fifa exco member. Now Banned from football, initially for five years, by Fifa after being found guilty of election forgery but the ban was overturned by Cas after the Thai’s criminal conviction was quashed.

Nicolás Leoz … Then Fifa exco member. Now Alleged to have taken bribes in the 1990s over World Cup TV contracts. Said to have requested a knighthood in return for supporting England’s World Cup bid, and to have suggested that the FA Cup should be renamed after him. Named on an Interpol red notice in 2015. The Paraguayan died in 2019.

Franz Beckenbauer … Then Fifa exco member. Now investigated in 2016 for fraud and money laundering as part of the 2006 World Cup held in Germany. Investigation closed without a verdict in 2020 as the statute of limitations expired. Denies any wrongdoing.

Rafael Salguero … Then Fifa exco member. Now The Guatemalan pleaded guilty to multiple corruption charges in 2016 and spent three years under house arrest.

Vitaly Mutko … Then Fifa exco member. Now Accused by Wada of overseeing Russia’s programme of state-sponsored doping. Banned for life from Olympic sports – subsequently overturned by Cas.

Geoff Thompson … Then Fifa exco member, head of English World Cup bid. Now No longer in football. The English bid (also led by his predecessor Lord Triesman) was later censured by the Garcia report, which found Warner “showered” it “with inappropriate requests”. “The bid team often accommodated his wishes, in apparent violation of bidding rules and the Fifa code of ethics.” This included finding Warner’s “adopted son” jobs at Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa. “England 2018 gave the appearance that it sought to confer a personal benefit on Mr Warner in order to influence his vote.”

Marios Lefkaritis … Then Fifa exco member. Now Was subject of a Sunday Times investigation into whether the Qatar sovereign wealth fund had paid £27m for a strip of his family’s land. The Cypriot strongly denied any wrongdoing. Still at Fifa.

Jacques Anouma … Then Fifa exco member. Now Accused in UK parliament of taking a $1.5m bribe to vote for Qatar. The Ivorian denied the allegations. Lost his Fifa seat.

Junji Ogura … Then Fifa exco member. Now Retired Fifa exco member. In 2015 he denied senior Japanese football officials paid $1.5m to South American associations in return for support of Japan’s co-hosting of the 2002 World Cup with South Korea.

Senes Erzik … Then Fifa exco member. Now The Turk is a retired Fifa exco member.

Hany Abo Rida … Then Fifa exco member. Now The Egyptian is still a Fifa exco member.

Never got to the start line

Amos Adamu … Then Fifa exco member. Now Banned from football administration for three years for breaching bribery rules, allegations first made in the Sunday Times before the vote. The Nigerian was banned for another two years from 2017 for breaches of Fifa ethics.

Reynald Temarii … Then Fifa exco member. Now The head of Tahiti’s FA was banned from football for eight years for taking money from Bin Hammam before the vote to pay the legal costs of another Fifa World Cup disciplinary case.

Notable mentions for

Jérôme Valcke … Then Fifa secretary general. Now Fired in 2016 and banned from football for 10 years by Fifa. Received 11-month suspended prison sentence over bribery charges in Swiss appeals court.

Rafael Esquivel … Then Member of Conmebol exco, president of Venezuelan Football Federation. Now Arrested as part of 2015 investigation. Banned from football. Pleaded guilty in US to seven counts of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and money-laundering conspiracy.

Eugenio Figueredo … Then Vice-president of Conmebol. Now Arrested as part of 2015 investigation. The Uruguayan was banned from football for taking bribes in connection with trade agreements for South American tournaments.

Alfredo Hawit … Then Concacaf official. Now Arrested as part of 2015 Swiss investigation. The Honduran was banned from football for life.

Harold Mayne-Nicholls … Then Fifa official, chair of evaluation for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Now Banned from football for seven years by Fifa ethics committee over requests he made to an organisation linked to the Qatari bid team on behalf of members of his family and athletes from Chile. Ban was reduced to three years on appeal to Fifa, then to two years by Cas.

Also in the room

Vladimir Putin … Then Russia’s prime minister. Now Invaded Crimea, used chemical weapons on British soil, started land war in Ukraine. Lauded nonetheless by Gianni Infantino who declared during a 2018 order of friendship ceremony at the Kremlin that the world was “in love” with Russia.

Vladimir Putin arrives to speak to media after Russia was chosen as host of the 2018 World Cup.
Vladimir Putin arrives to speak to media after Russia was chosen as host of the 2018 World Cup. Photograph: Alexei Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images

Boris Johnson … Then Mayor of London, part of FA’s 2018 World Cup bid team. Now Removed as UK prime minister by party colleagues. Fined by police while in office.

Roman Abramovich … Then Owner of Chelsea FC. Ambassador for Russia 2018 World Cup bid. Now Had sanctions imposed by UK government over links to Kremlin. Barred from owning Chelsea.

David Cameron … Then Prime minister and part of FA’s 2018 World Cup bid. Now Made Brexit happen, immediately resigned from office.

David Beckham … Then Ambassador for English bid. Declared himself “disgusted” by bidding process that saw Qatar awarded 2022 tournament. Now Ambassador for Qatar.


Barney Ronay

The GuardianTramp

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