FIFA’s number two Fatma Samoura said Tuesday she hoped the criminal investigations into the sale of World Cup rights to the Qatari-owned beIN Media group will not “disrupt” Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup.
Swiss prosecutors said last week a criminal corruption probe targeting Paris Saint-Germain president and beIN media chief, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and disgraced former FIFA executive Jerome Valcke had been launched over the sale of media rights for World Cups in 2018-2030.
“I hope that the ongoing investigations will not disrupt the organization of this World Cup,” Samoura said in an exclusive interview in Madrid on Tuesday. Samoura, from Senegal, took over the role previously held by Valcke as part of FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s team tasked with cleaning up the battered image of world football’s governing body after a series of corruption scandals.
“The World Cups, as you know, are the jewels of FIFA competition. “Now that our structure has become much more credible, we cannot afford to jeopardize these competitions. The same goes for Qatar.
“The organization of the competition was awarded to them in 2010, well before the new leadership came in, and we will ensure that the right conditions are put in place to be able to organize this competition in the best conditions.”