The opening sport of the 2022 Qatar World Cup is about to happen underneath a cloud of controversy after allegations of match-fixing emerged.
The host nation, Qatar, will begin the event in opposition to Ecuador at 3am (AEDT) at Al Bayt Stadium, following the opening ceremony.
Watch the world’s finest footballers each week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE protection from Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL & SPFL. New to Kayo? Begin your free trial now >
Qatar is ranked fiftieth on the planet, and pundits don’t count on it to problem for the highest two positions in Group A, with the Netherlands closely favoured to win the group and Ecuador and Senegal combating for second place.
The lead-up to the event has been marred by numerous controversies, significantly the nation’s therapy of migrant employees and intolerance in the direction of homosexuality.
On this newest potential scandal, writer and political affairs knowledgeable Amjad Taha alleges Qatar has bribed a number of Ecuadorian gamers to lose the opening match on goal, utilizing a complete sum of $US7.4 million ($11.1 million).
Taha claims to have confirmed the scheme’s existence with “insiders” in each camps, and says it will contain a 1-0 scoreline, with the purpose coming within the second half.
Taha tweeted: “Unique: Qatar bribed eight Ecuadorean gamers $7.4 million to lose the opener (1-0, ️2nd half). 5 Qatari and Ecuador insiders confirmed this. We hope it’s false. We hope sharing this may have an effect on the result. The world ought to oppose FIFA corruption.”
Talking to the media forward of the match, Qatar head coach Felix Sanchez denied the bribery allegation.
“There’s a variety of misinformation,” Sanchez stated when requested about it.
“The web is a superb software, however additionally it is very harmful. Nobody will be capable to destabilise us with these statements. We’re not affected in any respect.
“We’re centered on bringing our A-game and won’t take the rest under consideration.”
Qatar got here underneath heavy fireplace from throughout the globe after being awarded the rights to host the World Cup again in 2010, with criticism of its human rights report and questionable use of migrant labour significantly widespread.
The weeks main as much as the event have introduced contemporary controversies as nicely. Days earlier than the Cup, the host nation carried out an abrupt backflip and banned the sale of alcoholic drinks at its eight venues.
The Muslim nation had promised organisers FIFA it will loosen up its strict legal guidelines to permit followers to drink beer at matches and inside fan zones.
However, whereas Budweiser – owned by Belgian beer large Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) – has a large $US112 million sponsorship take care of FIFA, Qatar determined to renege on its vow anyway.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino additionally hit again at allegations of pretend followers on the World Cup, labelling the criticism “pure racism”, and dismissed criticism of Qatar’s human rights report on the eve of the event. He accused Western critics of “hypocrisy”.
There have lengthy been allegations Qatar has paid locals to look as “pretend followers” of the assorted groups, and movies rising of the so-called supporters are making observers very cynical.
Fan lodging has additionally drawn widespread criticism.
Video shared on social media reveals fan villages unfinished, with building employees describing the poor circumstances that await these attending.
On prime of that, locals have tried to money in on the inflow of holiday makers by sending Airbnb costs to the moon, with followers exposing the terrible circumstances within the overpriced leases.
Social media customers responded to that by labelling the World Cup the brand new Fyre Competition.
Pictures from contained in the Al-Emadi fan village opened the world’s eyes to the doubtless incoming catastrophe with delivery container fashion rooms arrange throughout the desert.
The Qatar World Cup opening ceremony will begin on Monday morning at 2am (AEDT).