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'Shady deals' at Fifa? Now there's a real shocker!

WELL now – that came as a mighty big surprise, didn't it?

Who'd have thought that there could have possibly been anything wrong with Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup?

Now it's claimed that $1.2m (€870k) for 'services' was paid by a Qatari football official to Fifa executive committee member Jack Warner. Shocked I was, I tells ya.

Leaving the Warner allegations to one side, when it comes to shady shenanigans, every other sporting organisation is only in the ha'penny place compared to Fifa. Even the lads on the International Olympic Committee look like choirboys alongside Sepp Blatter and his crew.

This summer's World Cup in Brazil should pass off easily, given the host nation's devotion to the game – but the decision to grant the 2022 finals to Qatar simply defied belief.

Hmm. Let's see. It has a population of 1.6m and is basically a few expensive buildings in a desert hellhole where temperatures can reach 50C in June and July, when most of us would expect the tournament to be played.

Not a problem for Sepp, who intends to move the competition to the winter, thereby disrupting every major domestic league worth talking about.


That 14 out of 22 members on the Fifa executive voted for this madness is baffling enough – only we don't actually know who voted for what since Fifa refuses to disclose voting procedure.

Quite apart from the heat, we also have the problem with Qatar effectively using slave labour to build their stadiums, their outlawing of homosexuality and the small matter of what would happen should Israel qualify for the tournament, given that Muslim Qatar doesn't recognise that state.

Now, there could be a perfectly good reason why Jack Warner was paid $1.2m for 'services'.

I'm sure all is totally above board as regards the Qatar bid – but should any more mysterious payments to members of the Fifa executive come to light, then maybe we might get a look at the bidding process for the 2022 running of the biggest event in sport.

I won't be holding my breath.