Jerome Valcke denies that he said Qatar bought 2022 World Cup

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke has denied that he said that Qatar bribed their way to hosting the 2022 World Cup, saying that instead they ‘used their financial strength to lobby for support’. Which sounds more or less like the same thing, really.

Valcke was keen to make it clear that he wasn’t accusing anyone of anything after Jack Warner unleashed his tsunami of allegations, claiming that Sepp Blatter had used $1million to bribe members of Concacaf and that Valcke himself knew about Qatar buying votes. Warner showed the press an email from Valcke in which read ‘(Hammam) thought you can buy Fifa as they bought the World Cup’, which Valcke is now trying to claim has been misinterpreted due to the light tone of the email.

‘I'd like to clarify that I may use in an e-mail - a 'lighter' way of expression by nature - a much less formal tone than in any form of correspondence,’ said Valcke's statement. ‘When I refer to the 2022 World Cup in that e-mail, what I wanted to say is that the winning bid used their financial strength to lobby for support.

‘They were a candidate with a very important budget and have used it to heavily promote their bid all around the world in a very efficient manner. I have at no time made, or was intending to make, any reference to any purchase of votes or similar unethical behaviour.’

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