World Cup-bidding whistleblower 'living in fear'

World Cup-bidding whistleblower 'living in fear'
Michael Garcia

A whistleblower claims she was targeted by Qataris after making corruption allegations against the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid.

Phaedra Almajid, who worked for the Qatar 2022 bid team before losing her job in 2010, claims she will live the rest of her life in fear after receiving threats against her and her children.

She provided evidence of wrongdoing to Michael Garcia’s independent inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

Her evidence was given on condition of anonymity – a condition she believes was deliberately breached in a summary of Garcia’s report published by FIFA ethics committee judge Hans-Joachim Eckert last week.

Garcia and Eckert are due to meet for talks on Thursday.

“Do I regret being the Qatar whistleblower? It has cost me personally, it has cost me emotionally – I know for a fact I will be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life,” Almajid told Sky Sports News.

“It has cost me my credibility and most importantly it has cost me the security of both me and my children. However I did witness something and I believe I did have to say what I had witnessed.”

Almajid continued: “I had a lot of cyber attacks, a lot of them were directed to my children. I do believe it was through the Qataris. They knew a lot of information about me that I don’t believe FIFA knew or were interested in.

“I was a bigger threat to the Qataris than I ever was to FIFA.”

Meanwhile, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has rejected FA chairman Greg Dyke’s call to publish the Garcia report into World Cup bidding.

Blatter has replied to a letter from Dyke saying publishing the report would break FIFA’s rules and Swiss law.

Ethics investigator Garcia has compiled a 430-page report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, won by Russia and Qatar, but FIFA ethics judge Eckert has cleared the countries to host the tournaments.

Blatter’s reply to Dyke stated: “FIFA would violate not only its own rules and regulations but also Swiss law by making public the report in question.”

Blatter says every person in the report would have to give consent to publication – something that would be practically impossible.

The FIFA president added: “We have been advised that publication of the report might be permissible if the persons and entities included in the report consent to such publication and waive any legal action they might be entitled to bring.”

Blatter’s reply asks if Dyke’s letter may be interpreted as “providing consent” on behalf of any member of England 2018’s bid team and consultants and “as a corresponding waiver of any legal action in the event of such publication.”

FIFA on Tuesday announced it has filed a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general in respect of unnamed individuals who report names may have breached Swiss law during the World Cup bidding.


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