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Qatar 2022 World Cup: Kalusha mentioned in bribery scandal

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FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya and 29 other leaders of African Football Federations have been named in a corruption scandal which has exposed them as recipients of illegal payments from banned Qatari football official Bin Hammam.

A series of leaked emails suggest the Qatari football official paid $5 million to raise the Arab country’s chances of hosting the 2022 World Cup, a UK newspaper has reported.

And the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid committee has denied all allegations of wrongdoing after accusations of widespread corruption during the bidding process.

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 allegedly wrote to Bin Hammam after a meeting in 2009 saying: “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.

Kalusha 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.

A number of other documents seen by The Sunday Times reveal that the Somali football association allegedly received $100,000 in payments, while the Yemeni football association was allegedly paid just under $10,000.

Bin Hammam, according to the newspaper, also paid $1.6 million into bank accounts controlled by former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, $450,000 of which was before the vote for the World Cup. In total, around $5 million from “secret slush funds” was paid out by Bin Hammam in “dozens” of payments.

The Qatari allegedly invited the leaders of 25 African football associations to Kuala Lumpur “on an all-expenses-paid junket”, the Sunday Times said.

Cash advances worth $200,000 were withdrawn to provide advances to members of the Confédération Africaine de Football, the newspaper said.

The paper said Bin Hammam declined to respond to correspondence and calls last week.

Meanwhile, In a statement issued on Sunday, the bid committee said Bin Hammam had no association with them while denying any suggestion of wrong-doing.

The committee said it was co-operating with the ongoing investigation led by FIFA’s chief investigator Michael Garcia.

“The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee always upheld the highest standard of ethics and integrity in its successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” the statement said.

“In regard to the latest allegations from The Sunday Times, we say again that Mohamed Bin Hammam played no official or unofficial role in Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee. As was the case with every other member of FIFA’s Executive Committee, our bid team had to convince Mr. Bin Hammam of the merits of our bid.

“We are cooperating fully with Mr. Garcia’s on-going investigation and remain totally confident that any objective enquiry will conclude we won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup fairly.

“Following today’s newspaper articles, we vehemently deny all allegations of wrong-doing. We will take whatever steps are necessary to defend the integrity of Qatar’s bid and our lawyers are looking into this matter. The right to host the tournament was won because it was the best bid and because it is time for the Middle East to host
its first FIFA World Cup.”

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31