Sheikh Tamim bin Khalifa al-Thani has only been in the job for a couple of months, after his father Hamad passed on the title to the youngest of his four sons from one of his three wives. He is only 33 and already has two wives and six children, so still time to catch up. His dad overthrew his own dad in a coup in 1992. Then there were only 50,000 residents.
NOT ANYMORE, Over two million now, but 80 % are foreign workers with fewer than 300,000 Qatari citizens. There is no real democracy, with the power in the hands of the ruling class. Citizens don't pay income tax and are happy to let foreigners do the work for them. Why is it that with 75% of the population male that any man is allowed more than one wife?
The yacht in question is the superyacht KATARA, which cost USD130 million and is 124 meters long. Qatar is the leading exporter of liquified natural gas. It has little football tradition and is smaller than The Falkland Islands.
By the way, Qatar is one of a number of nations, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan that still has public stoning on the books. Of course all the stones have been confiscated in case the workers use them in riots.
Katara can be used to bribe polilticians and businessman, but not to invite foreign labourers for drinks. In fact foreign labourers, many from South East Asia are living in dreadful conditions. According to reports from The International Labour Organization, over 44 Nepalese workers have died on the building sites in the last two months. With 2022 stadiums and infrastructure not yet built it could be expected that 2,000 or more will go home in a cheap coffin.
They have their passports held on arrival and are underpaid and sometimes not paid, and live in atrocious conditions, without water and facilities in spaces smaller than a Parisien pissoire. FIFA will be meeting on Thursday and Friday week in Zurich to talk about all things 2022. I would like to see secretary Jerome Valcke go and spend a week in such conditions and report back. In the meantime the QATARI WORLD CUP MUST BE PUT ON HOLD. A new vote is the minimum requirement. That is also the opinion of FIFA VP Jim Boyce of Northern Ireland. NO TALK of a winter World Cup until more discussions.
TV companies have paid millions to FIFA for the exclusive rights. "Compensation is a word we should ever use", claims Valcke, but evidently there have been secret talks with FOX in USA who paid $426 million for 2018 & 2022 USA TV rights and who would want compensation.
In the meantime FIFA lawyer Michael Garcia is still looking into corruption allegations concerning the 2022 vote. The Qataris threw money around and over 50% of the then FIFA Excos have resigned or been terminated. I know that over $10 million was paid out to ex players and coaches such as Zinadene Zidane and others to promote the bid.
Karl-Heinz 'Kalle' Rummenigge the 58 year old CEO of Bayern Munich and leader of the European Club Association went to Doha, Qatar in February with all expenses, flights, hotels, meals etc paid for by the Qatari World Cup organization. All were given a gift of a passport holder, except for former West German and Bayern captain K-H R.
He was given two Rolex watches worth £84,000. At Munich Airport he failed to declare them when going through the NOTHING TO DECLARE green lane. He was stopped and searched at customs. He has been fined £210,000... and Rolex isn't even the official time piece of FIFA.
Perhaps we can keep the 2022 Cup in the Middle East and in the summer......IN ISRAEL !!!