With confidence and strength, the members of the Executive Committee dug their grave and that of FIFA on December 2, 2010 when they voted 14 in favor of Qatar and 8 in favor of the United States to organize the 2022 World Cup, before the beard. Bill Clinton, who traveled to Zurich, the site of the election, is convinced that his country will organize the competition.
There is Pax Romana and American revenge: 16 of the 22 FIFA electors have been tried and imprisoned. The organization was no longer an aristocratic and secretive club. “FIFA used to be one of the few global power institutions that escaped the control of the United States,” says a football executive who prefers to remain anonymous. “That is not the case anymore.”
How could FIFA have adopted this decision to award the World Cup to Qatar and not to the United States without calibrating the consequences? Sepp Blatter himself summed up a few days ago that “the election of Qatar was a mistake”, that the Swiss who oversaw the vote, was disastrous for his interests.
FIFA, like the International Olympic Committee before Samaranch, was a kind of small club whose executive committee – 24 people – reflected the dominance of Latin American and European football. Its members, all men, may be divided between those who cut cod and those who allowed themselves to be loved. Secretly, they chose stadiums according to unwritten balances: the World Cup alternated between Europe and America – that was until the 2002 World Cup between Korea and Japan – and they formed pressure groups, such as the one that systematically united Spain’s vote for South American representatives. The inertia that is starting to crack with globalization and the commercial interests of American multinationals is in the king of sports.
Clinton was offended in Zurich: the agreement was the 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2022 in the United States.
The United States wanted the 2022 World Cup and its representative on the FIFA Executive Committee, Chuck Blazer, trusted the promises of his peers, which is why he persuaded former President Bill Clinton – and this in turn to senior representatives who supported the candidacy, such as Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman or Arnold Schwarzenegger – to attend the moment of glory. in Zurich. “That’s right: the voters promised Blazer that they would support the United States but football is a game of deception. What does a striker do if he doesn’t deceive the defense?
Despite his seniority, President Blatter made a fatal mistake that exacerbated the sense of humiliation in the United States: deciding at the same time, in the same Congress, to host the World Cup twice, and not just one, as it always did until 2010. It weakens and does not control the exchange of votes and interests.
The agreed and expected scenario was that Russia – Putin’s Russia – would be awarded the 2018 World Cup and the United States the 2022 World Cup, before Qatar, Japan or Australia. Sepp Blatter saw in this distribution the ideal symbolism of a century without hostile forces. Russia was chosen without problems for the year 2018 …
What went wrong in the 2022 elections? On the one hand, the Western contempt for Qatar associated with a neo-colonial view of the Bedouins, sands and the new wealthy reserved for all the peoples of the Persian Gulf – without the distinction that Qatar did not follow the Saudi pattern of behavior -, on the other hand, belittled the historical feeling of football leaders’ contempt for the “gringos”, the country The only great who does not profess the monotheistic faith of football despite the fact that they organized the 1994 World Cup. And they forgot that the active Qatari on the FIFA Executive Committee – Mohammed bin Hamman – did an excellent job of courtship, in accordance with the then bold desire of the emir to put Qatar on the world map (Also effective with creating a great TV for the Islamic domain, Al Jazeera).
Sarkozy advised Platini that European football vote for Qatar’s candidacy
All went well and exploded on November 23, ten days after the Zurich vote. The ex-footballer and president of UEFA, Michel Platini, was summoned to the table of the Elysee Palace by President Nicolas Sarkozy. Loving for four, with two surprise guests: Crown Prince Tamim Al Thani – the current Emir – and the Prime Minister of Qatar. The message is unequivocal: it is in the interests of the French Republic, for reasons of state, to vote for Qatar and “withdraw” the remaining European votes (four in total).
Michel Platini alerted Blatter to the move, but the Swiss, who speak several languages and have Latin manners (hugs, entertainment, smiles), had no more wiggle room because he designed a FIFA game designed for the Third World, which he showered with help in promotion. It is a sport that has – incidentally – ensured that he has been systematically re-elected since he succeeded Brazilian Joao Havelange in 1998. Among these “allies” are dubious figures, such as Jack Warner, of Trinidad and Tobago, who has presided over and managed the votes of football in the Caribbean and America Central. “We played by FIFA rules,” Bin Hamman said after the election (which “gotted” him after he thought he could bypass the ruling family).
What did France benefit from the football agreement? Preferential and advantageous gas supply agreements and amazing arms contracts. A year later, in 2011, a Qatari fund acquired debt-laden Paris Saint-Germain, a good deal for its owners, among whom is Sebastien Bazin, a friend of President Sarkozy.
Various sources and staff at the Baur Au Lac Hotel in Zurich where Bill Clinton was reported have reported a rage attack in his suite, with some things broken. Surprisingly, he, like a stone guest, attended the scene of Qatar’s declaration, and was chanted in the face by some “strange” Arab and the complicit look of some kind of FIFA feudal lord (Grondona, Teixeira, Warner, Villar, Platini, Leoz…). Complete humiliation.
US judge finds thread in TV rights to ‘dismantle’ FIFA
Once Clinton returns home, the US justice system kicks in and appears to be making a list of the “most wanted men,” like those still hanging in police stations: those responsible for Qatar’s election. The New York attorney general’s office takes an alibi for the shady sale of World Cup television rights, as it discovers signs of bribery, corruption and money laundering (Jack Warner and Blazer himself, two partners, allow themselves to pull the string, and have also agreed to carry a hidden microphone at FIFA meetings as of 2013, as part of his cooperation with the investigation). That’s where Imagina US, a subsidiary of Mediapro, owned by Jaume Roures, comes in here streaming, through the bounce and within the framework of the sale of the FIFA TV rights to the region, which will expire on July 10, 2018 in agreement with the prosecution from the Eastern District of New York for 24 million dollars in fines.
Seven FIFA executives were arrested at dawn in their luxury hotel in Zurich
The military coup and the perception of US retaliation occurred in the early hours of 27 May 2015 when Swiss police arrested seven FIFA executives, including two vice presidents, in their rooms in Baur Au Lac. At the behest of the American justice system: from the humiliation of Bill Clinton to the humiliating arrest of these “outcasts” from football, who were participating in the FIFA Congress convened to elect the Secretary-General, to which he aspired “as usual”, Sepp Blatter. Hours after the arrests, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch presented the results of five years of investigations and issued her verdict: those persecuted “spoiled the business of world football.”
As if nothing had happened, Sepp Blatter was re-elected after two days of arrests, for the fifth time in a row. The collapse was complete, but at the end of any sinking, the Titanic Orchestra continued to play. A mirage because he announced on June 2 that he was leaving his post, realizing he was either doing so or he would end up behind bars. In these years, the media revealed many deals and deals for those who voted for Qatar in 2010, which were also the subject of an internal investigation by FIFA that did not find conclusive evidence of bribery (but there were indications, as in the 2010 World Cup franchise for South Africa or the World Cup). 2018 for Russia). Thus, Michel Platini accepted a poisoned compensation from Blatter of two million euros for his services. In Spain, footballing strongman of three decades, Angel Maria Villar, spent twelve days in prison over a corruption case unrelated to Qatar but the same shadow weighs on former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell: the invisible hand of the United States.
“The US is bad at losing,” Blatter summed up the Financial Times in 2015. With his farewell to a certain FIFA team, football is no longer alien to the dominance of the United States and its multinational companies, the organization’s main sponsor and World Cups. In 2010 they felt beaten and beaten.
Today, the World Cup stadiums are chosen by a show of hands and the representatives of each association vote. Despite everything, neither the US, nor FIFA, nor the Swiss judiciary were able to prove that Qatar had bought the votes. And the next World Cup, in 2026, will be held in Canada, the United States and Mexico….