WASHINGTON – Qatar won the 2022 World Cup thanks to the collaboration of a former CIA agent. Kevin Chalker, the American 007, would have spied for years the most important officials in the world of football while he worked for the Arab country. This was revealed by an investigation byAssociated Press.
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Qatar sought to take advantage of securing the event, which the US and Australia were also interested in, by hiring former CIA officer Chalker. The man, who worked for the country also in the years following the assignment, in 2010, spied on top football managers and rival states, to find out about any offers.
Surveillance work involved someone pretending to be a photojournalist to keep an eye on offers from rival nations. According to the documents in possession of Ap, agents working for Chalker also searched the phone call logs of at least one senior FIFA official prior to the 2010 vote.
Documents from Chalker’s company, Global Risk Advisors, also highlight the company’s efforts to win over the Prince of Jordan. Ali Bin Al-Hussein, a key figure in the world of football who ran for FIFA presidency in 2015 and 2016. In a 2013 document, Global Risk Advisors recommended that Qatar grant funds to a football development organization run by Ali, explaining that “it would help solidify Qatar’s reputation as a benevolent presence in world football”.
The whole picture of Chalker’s work for Qatar is unclear, but Ap reviewed a variety of projects presented by Global Risk Advisors between 2014 and 2017 that highlight proposals related not only to the World Cup. Associated Press went through hundreds of pages of Chalker’s company documents, including a project update from 2013 that includes several photos of Chalker’s staff in the company of football officials.
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The former CIA agent declined to answer questions about his work for the Qatari government, adding that some of the documents reviewed by Ap they are false, but without providing any evidence to support his position. Both FIFA and Qatari government officials declined to comment on the affair.