Qatar was awarded the rights to host the 2022 World Cup. -Reuters Photo

LONDON: An official who alleged that Qatar paid bribes to three FIFA members to secure the World Cup in 2022 has retracted her claims, it was reported on Sunday.

Phaedra Al Majid, who worked as a press officer for Qatar 2022, told the BBC she wanted to avenge losing her job on the campaign, but now had decided to go public to admit that the allegations had been fabricated.

Al Majid has signed a legal affadavit retracting the allegations and insisted that she had not been put under any pressure by the Qataris to make her public denial.

“I was very upset after I left the bid and wanted to basically hurt the bid back,” she said.

“My intentions were to make a few headlines, I never expected that my lies would be carried on. It just went too far. I never expected it to come to this point. There was never anything suspicious or any wrongdoing on Qatar's part.

“I cannot tell you how sorry I am. I have hurt reputations of three members of the FIFA executive committee , I have hurt their reputation, and more importantly I have hurt my colleagues on the Qatar bid.”

Al Majid originally said African Football Confederation president Issa Hayatou, Ivory Coast FIFA member Jacques Anomua and Nigeria's suspended official Amos Adamu were paid to vote for Qatar.

The allegations were denied by all three men but were made public under parliamentary privilege in the United Kingdom when the Sunday Times submitted evidence from their investigation into FIFA in May.

The BBC, whose programme on the 2022 tournament will be aired on Monday, admitted that their staff only interviewed Al Majid after being put in touch with her by Qatar bid officials.

Meanwhile, the Guardian newspaper said on Sunday it had spoken to Al Majid and interviewed the bid's chief executive, Hassan Al-Thawadi.

“He said Al Majid had been in contact with the bid wanting to retract her story, and facilitated our conversation with her. Both she and the bid insist they did not put pressure on her to issue her retraction, nor paid her or helped her in any way,” said the newspaper on its website edition.

More From This Section

IOC accepts Pakistan’s proposal to continue dialogue for resolving crisis

"We hope concrete actions will be taken on the government side as per the agreed roadmap of October 2013."

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers: Ajmal

"Times have changed and there is hardly any respect for bowlers these days."

Moores gets second stint as England coach

The 51-year-old Moores was forced out in 2009 following a rift with Pietersen that cost the batsman his captaincy.

Ajmal given clearance for Worcestershire stint

“We have given NOC to Ajmal but want him to return in mid-July so that he can be part of team's tour to Sri Lanka.”


Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Poll
From The Newspaper
Tweets