Qatar corruption claims withdrawn

The ‘whistleblower’ who accused FIFA executive committee members and the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid of corruption has retracted her claims.Phaedra Almajid, who worked as a media officer for the Qatar bid, made claims that African Football Confederation president Issa Hayatou, Ivory Coast FIFA representative Jacques Anomua and Nigeria’s suspended executive committee member Amos Adamu were each paid bribes of US$1.5 million to vote for the Middle Eastern nation’s bid.

The allegations, first published in The Sunday Times, were made public under UK parliamentary privilege during a select committee investigation in May.

Almajid has now signed a legal affidavit retracting her allegations, saying she made up the claims to take revenge on her former employers after being dismissed from the bid team.

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

“My intentions were to make a few headlines, I never expected that my lies would be carried on and discussed in parliament.”

“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 exco (executive committee), I have hurt their reputation, and more importantly I have hurt my colleagues on the Qatar bid.”

Almajid says she has come under no pressure from Qatar 2022 or FIFA and has not been paid to change her story.