The selection process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments has been mired in allegations of widespread corruption and bribery, Politico reported.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing a criminal investigation in his country over allegations he accepted bribes to support Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Telegraph reported Thursday.
The probe centers around a Qatari company buying a stake in a French energy and waste company, Veolia, and the sale of soccer club Paris Saint-Germain to another Qatari firm. According to the Telegraph, investigators are examining whether Sarkozy received kick-backs from those deals in exchange for France’s vote for Qatar. Sarkozy was president at the time his country supported the Qatari bid.
In 2015, U.S. federal prosecutors indicted top officials from FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, on bribery and money laundering charges. FIFA President Sepp Blatter was subsequently forced to step down and was banned from soccer for six years.
Sarkozy is currently facing a separate criminal probe into allegations of illegal financing during his 2012 re-election campaign.