Qatar's winning bid to hold the 2022 World Cup was marked by a spending spree that included investments in the home countries of several executives who were responsible for choosing the host nation, according to internal documents from the emirate's bidding committee.
The spending sheds light on how FIFA regulations—outlined in the two-page rules of conduct for World Cup host-nation bidding—left the door open for hopefuls to open wallets to exert indirect influence on international soccer's small circle of decision-makers.
Qatar also paid soccer-world luminaries—hailing from France, Spain, Argentina and elsewhere—who publicly endorsed its bid, according to Qatar bid committee documents and emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Some were paid more than a million dollars in connection with the endorsements, said a person familiar with the situation. ...
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