Sun, 20 Nov 2022 04:49 PM IST
THE FIFA World Cup 2022 will finally begin in Qatar today, November 20 with hosts Qatar set to face Ecuador in the tournament opener at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. Since the date, Qatar was picked up as FIFA hosts, countless controversies have emerged and several questions were raised about an Arab nation holding world's biggest football festival. Now, ahead of the opening fixture, serious allegations have surfaced against the hosts for allegedly trying to fix the opening match against Ecuador.
According to Amjad Taha, who is an expert in strategic political affairs and regional director of the British centre in Saudi Arabia, Qatar allegedly bribed eight Ecuadorian players 7.4 million dollars to lose the opener. In a tweet, he said that his sources were insiders from the Qatar and Ecuador camps.
Taking to Twitter, he tweeted, "Exclusive: Qatar bribed eight Ecuadorian players $7.4 million to lose the opener(1-0 2nd half). Five Qatari and #Ecadour insiders confirmed this. We hope it's false. We hope sharing this will affect the outcome. The world should oppose FIFA's corruption. @MailSport #WorldCup2022".
Exclusive: Qatar bribed eight Ecuadorian players $7.4 million to lose the opener(1-0 ⚽️ 2nd half). Five Qatari and #Ecadour insiders confirmed this.We hope it's false. We hope sharing this will affect the outcome.The world should oppose FIFA corruption.@MailSport #WorldCup2022— Amjad Taha أمجد طه (@amjadt25) November 17, 2022
So far, neither Qatar nor FIFA has released any statement on the issue. Earlier, the country banned the sale of beer in stadiums. Also, the organisers have warned fans of the tournament against public displays of affection while saying all fans are welcome to the event.
Qatar and FIFA hope the spotlight will turn to act on the pitch after facing mounting criticism over foreign workers' rights, LGBT rights and social restrictions. Organisers have denied allegations of bribery for hosting rights.
Meanwhile, Qatar and Ecuador last met in October 2018, when Qatar sealed a 4-3 victory. Qatar, who are also World Cup debutants, will be eyeing glory in front of the home crowd.