What They're Saying

"My real worry is what will happen if Qatar legitimately won the bid of 2022? Because it looks to me that in order to prove to some that there is no corrupted collusion between Qatar and Spain, it is necessary for them to lose the bid! Is that a smart or smear campaign against Qatar and Spain?"

-- Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president, lashing out at rumors that Spain-Portugal and Qatar have colluded in an attempt to win the Dec. 2 vote of the FIFA executive committee for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts. Spaniard Angel Maria Villar-Llona passed a note to Bin Hammam at last month's FIFA executive committee meeting, saying, “Congratulations, vamos a ganar." The note has been interpreted as Villar-Llona telling Bin Hammam that their respective countries are going to win their dual bids, but others say it merely meant that the bidders were only going to escape FIFA sanctions on collusion charges. It has been widely reported that Spain and Qatar have organized an alliance that includes Villar-Llona, Bin Hammam and five other executive committee members, posing a serious threat to U.S. hopes of winning the 2022 World Cup bid. (World Football Insider)

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