MONDAY 17 JAN 2011 9:03 AM


Weekend newspaper reports reveal the “extraordinary spending” behind Qatar’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup – including proposals to spend £27 million on communications alone.

While there is no suggestion that Qatar’s bid broke any rules, The Daily Telegraph claims to have seen documents showing that Qatar extended financial assistance to the Argentine Football Association, which suffered a financial crisis in August 2009; spending more than £4.4 million recruiting bid ambassadors including former Gabriel Batistuta, Zinedine Zidane and Ronald de Boer; and a gifts budget of £250,000 for “VIPs or VVIPs”.
Sources speaking on behalf of Qatar 2022 confirmed that the budget seen by The Daily Telegraph was a genuine document, but said that it was an early draft that was “rejected for being too high”.
The total communications proposal for a single year of £27 million – which does not include spending on operations, staff, bid-book production or other aspects of the two-year campaign – was almost double the entire £15 million two-year budget for England’s 2018 bid. In fact, it exceeded the total two-year bid budget for all of their rivals except Australia, which spent £28 million on its campaign.
The Qatar proposal set aside £6.6 million for campaigning at all major football events in 2010, £16.7 million for advertising and marketing and a PR budget of £3.9 million.
There is no suggestion that Qatar breached Fifa rules or acted improperly. The Fifa guidelines for bidding nations are contained in a two-page document, a far cry from the far more extensive protocol of the International Olympic Committee.