QatarNovember 25 2022, 16:53 pm

Qatar Donates One Million Euros to German Footballers in Exchange for Favorable Reporting

Ger­man media is report­ing that in the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar donat­ed one mil­lion euros to flood-strick­en foot­ballers in Ger­many in exchange for favor­able report­ing. Accord­ing to an arti­cle by pub­lic broad­cast­er ARD:

The Emi­rate of Qatar donat­ed one mil­lion euros to a foun­da­tion of the Rhineland Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion. For this pur­pose, mini soc­cer fields are to be built in the Ahr val­ley. The first will be inau­gu­rat­ed last Sun­day. Wal­ter Desch helped plan the appoint­ment. He is chair­man of the foun­da­tion to which the mon­ey went. This morn­ing he shows a lot of under­stand­ing for his guest, also with regard to alle­ga­tions of human rights vio­la­tions in Qatar that have been made in many media. “I noticed and informed myself that women do have rights, too,” Desch calls out on the open stage. “And also in man­age­r­i­al posi­tions, as I’ve seen.” The embassy sec­re­tary nods. It could­n’t be any bet­ter. [Trans­lat­ed from German]

Read the rest here.

The funds went towards Fußball hil­ft!, a foun­da­tion part of the Rhineland Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion, to build mini soc­cer fields in the Ahr Val­ley, among those worst affect­ed by 2021 floods that killed more than 180 peo­ple and destroyed large parts of the region’s infra­struc­ture. In mid-Novem­ber 2022, the first of the mini-soc­cer fields was inau­gu­rat­ed in the pres­ence of the Deputy Sec­re­tary of the Qatari Embassy in Ger­many, Ahmad Has­san Al-Hay.In an inter­view, Fußball hil­ft! Pres­i­dent Wolf­gang Desch said he was aware of the moti­va­tion behind the dona­tion and that he also accept­ed being an “instru­ment of Qatari PR.” He was quot­ed as saying:

They want­ed good press and of course it was an impor­tant point that we then rep­re­sent Qatar very pos­i­tive­ly for the World Cup.

Accord­ing to an addi­tion­al arti­cle, Qatar also sought to pres­sure the foun­da­tion into silenc­ing dis­sent by its founder, for­mer Ger­man Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Theo Zwanziger, a known crit­ic of the Gulf State. Leaked doc­u­ments show that, from ear­ly 2012 to mid-2014, the US com­pa­ny Glob­al Risk Advi­sors, direct­ed by a for­mer CIA employ­ee, ran “Project Riverbed,” a covert oper­a­tion spy­ing on Zwanziger’s busi­ness deal­ings and pri­vate sur­round­ings to break his pub­lic resis­tance against Qatar as World Cup host.

In Novem­ber 2022, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that Glob­al Risk Advi­sors had car­ried out a “large-scale and long-stand­ing intel­li­gence oper­a­tion” spon­sored by Qatar and tar­get­ing FIFA offi­cials to pre­vent Qatar from los­ing the World Cup.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.