Newsdesk - Qatar Splashes the Cash for World Cup; Zidane Admits to Payout

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Qatar to Pay for World Cup Out of Pocket

Qatar’s government will pay for the 2022 World Cup simply out of its own cash flow.

Qatari bid leadership celebrate their World Cup win in Zurich on Dec. 2. (Getty Images)
Reports from the United Arab Emirates say that oil and gas projects in Qatar are expected to yield $130 billion in surplus over the next five years, only $70 billion of which will be needed for infrastructural improvements ahead of the month-long tournament.

"All government-sponsored projects will be cash funded," International Bank of Qatar managing director George Nasra told The National.

That includes a new rail system, roads, airport, deepwater port and a causeway connecting Qatar with Bahrain.

The host country also plans to build nine stadiums and renovate another three.

Assuming the World Cup remains scheduled for the hot summer months, all must be air-conditioned per Qatar's bidding plans.

Nasra’s assessment is in line with analysis made by Standard & Poor’s in a December report.

"We expect most of the infrastructure will be financed via revenues from the oil and gas sectors," S&P credit analyst Luc Marchand was quoted by the Abu Dhabi daily.

Zidane: Bid Backing About Football Growth
Bid CEO Hassan al-Thawadi unveiled Zidane as a surprise bid ambassador during FIFA's inspection visit in September. (WFI/J.Corbett)

Zinedine Zidane says his support of Qatar 2022 wasn’t about the money.

Instead, the French football legend told L’Equipe on Wednesday, he backed the bid because of a desire to spread football throughout the Middle East.

The 38-year-old, who also holds Algerian citizenship, is the greatest footballer of Arab-extraction of all time and was unveiled in September as a surprise ambassador of the oil-rich nation's bid.

Zidane admitted Wednesday he was paid millions of dollars by the bid committee, but nowhere near the $13 to $17 million floated by various media since Qatar’s Dec. 2 triumph.


Bernstein Backs Premier League Boss

Newly appointed Football Association chairman David Bernstein is coming to the defence of his Premier League counterpart.
Premier League boss Dave Richards was portrayed as a potty-mouthed bully Tuesday by former FA chairman David Triesman. (Getty Images)

"Sir Dave Richards has been extremely co-operative,” he told BBC Sport.

“There are of course natural tensions [in the game]. But there's a mutuality of interest where the good of the national game is in all interests.”

Bernstein’s backing comes on the heels of a Tuesday hearing before a Parliamentary select committee investigating English football management during which former FA chief David Triesman tore into Richards, who he portrayed as a potty-mouthed bully.

"My experience is he will put his point politely in board meetings but discussions outside are extremely aggressive discussions, really aggressive discussions, points are made in a very colorful manner,” Triesman said of Richards.

“I wouldn't use that language. This is a very, very macho sport. I think some people have cultivated what they think of as being the language of the dressing room as appropriate everywhere."

Transfer System Passes First Test, FIFA Says

FIFA’s newly implemented Transfer Matching System is thus far a success.

Though its use was mandated for all international transfers back in October, the January 2011 window marked its first real test, one TMS general manager Mark Goddard says the online software passed with ease. 

“At the peak of the window there were 115 member associations who were open for business”, he was quoted by FIFA.com.

“In basic terms, that means that more than half the football planet was using our system, and we’re very pleased that we had no operational issues.”

The system, complete with a countdown clock to the moment a window closes, accounted for 2,451 transfers in January with a combined value of $320 million.

“The implementation of the system is a big step-change in the way that international football transfers are conducted, and we won’t be resting on our laurels,” Goddard said.

“Next month we will start another series of workshops and visits to gain feedback from FIFA’s member associations to see if we can improve things further.


By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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