By MICHAEL KLINE
As if Sepp Blatter and FIFA did not already have enough yolk on their faces regarding the 2022 World Cup bidding process.
France Football magazine, in a 16-page report, has accused FIFA of awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup on grounds of corruption. In the report titled ‘Qatargate’, Michel Platini was said to have been present at a secret meeting in the French presidential palace in Paris with Qatari prince Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani and the previous owners of Paris Saint-Germain.
FF magazine claims that Platini pledged his vote to Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid in exchange for a Qatari buy-out of PSG, along with the establishment of a new television sports channel.
Platini has since responded to the accusation, “to believe that my choice went to Qatar 2022 in exchange for deals between the French state and Qatar is just pure speculation.” He also added, “I don’t rule out taking anyone to court who questions my integrity in this vote.”
Qatar Sports Investment completed the buy-out of Paris Saint-Germain late last year.
In addition to the accusations made against Platini, France Football magazine quoted an “internal email” from FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke which states Qatar “bought the 2022 World Cup.” Valcke has cited a “light-hearted” misunderstanding in the email.
Qatar beat out the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia for the World Cup 2022 bid.
Here are some other stories to round out your Tuesday afternoon:
SIR ALEX FERGUSON CHARGED BY FA
The English Football Association has charged Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson over his post-match comments following the Tottenham match on January 20.
In Ferguson’s comments, he alluded to the referee being motivated by bias, a violation of FA rule E3. The legendary Manchester United manager said in reference to a Wayne Rooney penalty kick shout, “There was no way the linesman was going to give that – he gave them everything.”
Ferguson went on to cite an incident against Chelsea in 2010 when Drogba scored the winner against Manchester United from an offside position: “With Chelsea a couple of years back, he gave onside to Didier Drogba and he was three yards offside.”
Ferguson has until Friday to respond to the charge.
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS ZAMBIA KNOCKED OUT OF ACON
Zambia have had their hopes of glory crushed after drawing 0-0 against Burkina Faso in a must-win match. Zambia were the first defending champion to fail to make it out of the group stages since Algeria in 1990.
Nigeria joined Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Ethiopia.
Quarter-final action will kickoff on Saturday, February 2nd.
RODGERS ISSUES WARNING TO LIVERPOOL YOUNGSTERS
Following Liverpool’s poor result against Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup, Brendan Rodgers has questioned the physicality and drive of Liverpool’s youngsters.
With regards to the young players on the squad, Rodgers said “They have come in and done well but we don’t have world-class young players, I must be clear on that.” When discussing the mentality of some of the players, Rodgers stated “There are question marks and I don’t think that’s just over this period.”
Rodgers went on to criticize Liverpool’s defensive efforts against Oldham, even going as far as claiming Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates made Matt Smith, who netted for the first time at home in two years, “look like Didier Drogba.”
Liverpool’s FA Cup dreams were dashed when League One side Oldham Athletic knocked them out of contention on Sunday. The Merseyside club will attempt to rebound from the tough loss with a positive result against Arsenal tomorrow.
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes had his Chevrolet Captiva Estate stolen Monday morning after the player left the engine running to defrost the windshield.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out the transfer of David Villa from Barcelona to Arsenal.
What are your thoughts on ‘Qatargate’? Will Rodgers’ critiques of his players affect the locker room mentality? How will Ferguson respond to the FA charges?
Share your thoughts below.