Last updated: 11 July, 2011

FIFA silent on World Cup 2022 ‘whistleblower’

FIFA has made no comment on the retraction of claims by a former bid official who alleged that Qatar paid bribes to three FIFA members to secure the World Cup in 2022.

Phaedra al-Majid, who worked as a press officer for Qatar 2022, told the BBC on Sunday she wanted to avenge losing her job on the campaign, but now had decided to go public to admit that the allegations had been fabricated.

Majid has signed a legal affadavit retracting the allegations and insisted that she had not been put under any pressure by the Qataris to make her public denial.

World football’s governing body said: “FIFA can confirm receipt of an email from a person claiming to have made allegations related to the Qatar 2022 bid process and now retracting these allegations.

“FIFA has no specific comments on this…”

The body added: “In a consistent and correct way, we have repeatedly said that FIFA would not be making any comments on allegations. This policy will continue.

“In a consistent and correct way, we have repeatedly said that FIFA can only act upon evidence. This policy will continue.

“When only allegations are made and no evidence is given, FIFA always stands firmly by its members.”

Majid originally said African Football Confederation president Issa Hayatou, Ivory Coast FIFA member Jacques Anomua and Nigeria’s suspended official Amos Adamu were paid to vote for Qatar.

The allegations were denied by all three men but were made public under parliamentary privilege in the United Kingdom when the Sunday Times submitted evidence from their investigation into FIFA in May.

The BBC, whose programme on the 2022 tournament will be aired on Monday, admitted that their staff only interviewed Majid after being put in touch with her by Qatar bid officials.

“I was very upset after I left the bid and wanted to basically hurt the bid back,” Majid said.

“My intentions were to make a few headlines, I never expected that my lies would be carried on. It just went too far. I never expected it to come to this point. There was never anything suspicious or any wrongdoing on Qatar’s part.

“I cannot tell you how sorry I am. I have hurt reputations of three members of the FIFA executive committee, I have hurt their reputation, and more importantly I have hurt my colleagues on the Qatar bid.”