Over the weekend, the Sunday Times published new stories based on the millions of emails, documents and bank transfers it gained access to showing that former FIFA executive committee member Mohammed bin Hammam paid out over $5 million to win support for Qatar’s bid to land the 2022 World Cup.
However, one of the stories claimed that the 2018 bidding process was also tainted. According to the report, Bin Hammam was also invited to visit Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to discuss “bilateral relations in sport” at the end of October 2010, just over a month before Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
Another story alleged that Bin Hammam arranged talks on a major gas deal between Thailand and Qatar during a visit to Doha, Qatar’s capital. It is understood that the deal hinged on the head of Thailand’s soccer federation, Worawi Makudi, supporting Qatar’s 2022 bid. Makudi, however, strenuously denies receiving any personal concession from the deal.
Bin Hammam was formerly on FIFA's executive committee but resigned in 2012, shortly before being banned for life from soccer administration by FIFA's ethics committee.