Dubai: Qatar`s World Cup organising committee head has categorically denied that the country purchased the rights for hosting the 2022 FIFA tournament.
Hassan Al Thawadi reportedly broke his silence after a Daily Telegraph investigation that uncovered the first hard evidence that the most senior football official from Qatar gave millions of dollars to a fellow FIFA vice-president shortly after his nation was awarded football`s showpiece event.
According to the Gulf News, although Mohammad Bin Hammam has not been directly linked to Qatar`s bid, he has been banned for life from football over allegations that he paid bribes while running for the FIFA presidency in 2011.
However, it is reportedly yet to be determined whether the bribe includes the 1.2 million-pounds that documents show Hammam gave to Jack Warner and his family that same year, or whether any of the money was linked to the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Al Thawadi, who led Qatar`s delegation and is now secretary general for the 2022 World Cup`s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said that the nation did not buy the World Cup adding that people tell him that it is shocking that they won but he said that they won because they worked very hard for it.
Al Thawadi said that people told him that the World Cup was a `no go` when they first started bidding for it and also told him that they are `daft` to win it.
Al Thawadi also said that when they started they thought what is stopping them from hosting the World Cup.
Al Thawadi said that although Qatar is a small nation, they do not have travel issues like South Africa, Brazil and Russia, as Qatar is located centrally, which means it is easily accessible for anyone, the report added.