Among the many headlines that are spawning from the impending FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, recently the spotlight has shifted to one of the participants, Ecuador who is in the hot water for allegedly receiving a bribe equivalent to $7.4 million so that they would lose the competition’s opening game against the host nation, Qatar in the Qatar Vs Ecuador match. And of course, the bribe comes from the middle eastern nation itself.
The news hit exactly on Nov 18 at some time during the day. It particularly came from one of the big-name journalists and since has caused a lot of worry among the officials and social media forums.
Of the many high-profile sources and journalists, one of the first assurances about the bribe came from an Arab reporter Amjad Taha. Taha took to his Twitter to shockingly reveal the bribery case. According to Taha, he received information about the unethical deal from five Qatari and Ecuadorian experts. His sources also told him eight Ecuadorian players altogether had received close to $8 million to concede the match against their first group opponent, Qatar. They reportedly have conditions that Qatar would defeat them in the second half with a narrow scoreline of 1-0.
As for the tweet that Taha shared, it read,
Qatar bribed eight Ecuadorian players $7.4 million to lose the opener(1-0 ⚽️ 2nd half). Five Qatari and #Ecadour insiders confirmed this.We hope it’s false. We hope sharing this will affect the outcome.The world should oppose FIFA corruption.
Taha in addition to being a sports journalist is the regional director of the British Center for the US and Middle East Research. FIFA however is yet to have an official statement regarding the matter.
Exclusive: Qatar bribed eight Ecuadorian players $7.4 million to lose the opener(1-0 ⚽️ 2nd half). Five Qatari and #Ecadour insiders confirmed this.We hope it’s false. We hope sharing this will affect the outcome.The world should oppose FIFA corruption.@MailSport #WorldCup2022
— Amjad Taha أمجد طه (@amjadt25) November 17, 2022
On the other hand, another international journalist has said all these are misinformation and tactics to malign the hosts. Also, Taha himself has faced criticism in the past for spreading the wrong news.
Worth noting is that Ecuador apparently does not have a law or regulation that prohibits or sanctions the offering, payment, or receipt of bribes by foreign government officials.
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Ecuador FIFA World Cup Qualification Controversy
In addition to the bribe controversy, Ecuador already has been accused of wrongful inclusion of Colombian-born Byron Castillo during their CONMEBOL qualifications for this world cup. Castillo apparently played for Ecuador in the qualifiers round when he was still not a naturalized citizen of the la Tri.
Chile, who finished two places behind Ecuador in the final table position for the world cup qualification, protested Ecuador’s advancement. The South American La Roja argued, Ecuador including a foreign man in their national squad during the selection process, should have been a breach of law by the nation and therefore their loss. Chile concluded it was them who should have gotten the place at the FIFA World Cup group stages.
Despite that, FIFA allowed Ecuador to participate in the World Cup 2022. The country, however, would lose three points beforehand when they start the qualifiers round for the FIFA World Cup 2026.
Ecuador’s connection to bribery emerged on the same day when the host nation Qatar uplifted the ban on the sales of alcohol during the tournament before again imposing the restriction. The controversy regarding whether fans will have access to alcohol or not has been running since Qatar won the right to host the tournament.
Ecuador In FIFA World Cup 2022
Ecuador has an Argentinian national, Gustavo Alfaro as their manager for the competition in Qatar.
In this world cup, it has a position in Group A where they are set to face Qatar, Senegal, and the Netherlands, respectively. While in the competitive company of fellow group opponents like the Netherlands, Senegal, and Ecuador, many experts have projected that it is Qatar will be one of the two teams to progress to the last 16.
The South American side is one of the two teams to kick off the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 & probably could be the strong contender to winning the game.
Problems With Qatar As The Host Nation Of The FIFA World Cup 2022
The hosting of Qatar has also been marred by various other talking points including the country’s wrongful treatment of its migration workers who helped build the infrastructure for the world cup. Many players from the participating countries have been vocal about the issue as well. Netflix has even released a docu-series that explores the deep and widespread systematic corruption within FIFA and its procedures to select the host nations. The two most talked about nations in that regard are Qatar and Russia. As for Qatar, it has also been under scrutiny for its stance on LGBTQ rights.
All in all, the world, in general, hasn’t praised Qatar’s handling of the event and fans’ facilitation. The nation is also quite homogeneous when it comes to culture and religion which has been making many fans worry about its lack of guarantees to cope properly with the diverse range of fans that are attending the event.
Further just some days before the event, the Qatari private security team attacked a Danish journalist when he was doing the ground report on the FIFA World Cup.
FIFA in the meantime has urged the world cup teams to focus on football and not engage themselves in the ideological or political back and forth.