COLOGNE, Germany, May 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
The ARD TV-documentary "The Selling of Football - Sepp Blatter and the Power of FIFA" (broadcasted on Monday, 4th May, on ARD, 22.45 hrs.) provides new evidence that when the World Cup was awarded to Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, corruption was involved. A member of the Executive Committee of world football's governing body FIFA, who was involved in the election, admits to the ARD that business deals were concluded with leading companies in Qatar and Russia around the time of the award of the tournaments. The Chairman of the Technical Evaluation Committee of FIFA had previously given Qatar and Russia the worst ratings for their concepts. Nevertheless, Russia and Qatar prevailed against their high-profile rivals from England, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as the USA and Australia.
In addition, the documentary provides evidence of the misappropriation of FIFA development funds by an African Federation President, who will be entitled to vote in the election of the FIFA President on 29th May. Bank documents prove the receipt of the corresponding payments and cash withdrawals of the sums from the account. When questioned about this, FIFA declared that only its Investigation Division could say anything about it. The Investigation Division, in its turn, said that it could not say anything about this case on the basis of regulations which were determined by FIFA.
During the recording of the documentary, a camera crew from Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) was arrested in Qatar. The broadcasting company had reported on many occasions in recent years about the preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the living conditions of workers in the country. In vain, the team had for weeks been trying to get permission to shoot and had requested interviews with senior government officials about the reported labour law reforms and the living conditions of the migrant workers.
The WDR team was arrested while shooting with workers in the Qatari capital of Doha, subsequently interrogated by the State Security, taken before the Public Prosecutor and only after 14 hours released in the middle of the night. The WDR employees were not allowed to leave Qatar for five days, until the Qatari Foreign Minister allowed them. The camera equipment, laptops and personal mobile phones were confiscated and - contrary to other assurances to the German Embassy in Qatar - only returned with a four-week delay. All data had been deleted and parts of the equipment had been damaged.
The documentary "The Selling of Football - Sepp Blatter and the Power of FIFA" can be seen from Monday until further notice in the Mediathek Das Erste (http://www.daserste.de). WDR Television will broadcast it on Monday, 11th May 2015 from 22.00 to 22.45 hrs.
Editors: Ulrike Schweitzer, Ulrich Loke (WDR), Thomas Schneider (SWR)
Photos at http://www.ARD-Foto.de
WDR Press and Information
SOURCE German Broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)