An investigating judge in charge of investigations in Paris into the controversial award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has issued an international arrest warrant against Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, suspected of corruption, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday, confirming information from L'Equipe.
According to the sports daily, this arrest warrant was issued on June 22 following several summonses before the financial magistrate to which he did not respond.
Mohamed Bin Hammam, former president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), is "accused of private corruption in connection with the awarding of the football World Cup to Qatar," the judicial source said.
The businessman was banned for life from football governing bodies following accusations of corruption and conflicts of interest.
This part of the judicial investigation opened in 2019 focuses on the role played by this influential Qatari in the about-face of Tahitian Reynald Temarii, former president of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), the day before the emirate was designated as host country.
Suspended for one year by the International Football Federation (FIFA) on 17 November 2010 for violating the code of ethics, Mr Temarii could no longer sit on the organisation's executive committee on 2 December 2010 for voting. The OFC therefore had to appoint a replacement who would have given his vote to Australia and, in case of failure, to the United States, Qatar's main rivals. However, Mr Temarii appealed against his suspension on the night of 30 November to 1 December even though he had previously announced that he accepted the sanction and did not have the reasons of the ethics committee allowing him to do so.
By appealing, according to FIFA's statutes, he deprived the OFC of a representative during the vote. On December 2, 2010, Qatar won over the United States, who were favourites.
The assumption of the defense costs of Mr. Temarii for an amount of 305000,<> euros by Mohamed Bin Hammam and the financing of the Tahitian's trip to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to meet him between his sanction and the vote of Fifa intrigue the investigators.
During this stay, the Qatari allegedly convinced Mr. Temarii to appeal his sanction.
In this part, Mr. Temarii, the consultant Jean-Charles Brisard and the lawyer Géraldine Lesieur are indicted. They dispute the accusations.
In another aspect, the financial magistrates seek to determine whether the vote in favor of Qatar of Michel Platini, at the time boss of UEFA, was obtained in exchange for compensation.