Qatar again denies claim of cash offers to World Cup voters
The Gulf country has given three reasons to back Qatar’s claim that it gave cash infusions to the U.S. team ahead of Russia’s World Cup vote, and dismissed another suggestion the cash would have gone to public employees.
“The Qatari people have received many benefits, including, among other things, substantial monetary resources, all of which are fully transparent,” Qatar’s information minister, Dr. Yousef Al-Otaiba, said Wednesday in a televised interview.
“I don’t see any need for the U.S. government to continue its investigation or for those American officials to continue their speculation in order to distort the facts and mislead the people of Qatar.”
A day later, Qatar’s foreign ministry issued a new denial, saying the $1.1 billion in contributions was for public employees and that only 6 percent of the money went to the U.S. team.
The U.S. government’s claims of Qatar’s alleged election-meddling have followed a string of public accusations by U.S. officials about the country’s meddling, which Qatar has repeatedly rejected.
In a statement Monday, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation reiterated that the country “will not engage in any act that may prejudice the rights and interests of any country, or any particular group of people.”
The statement is part of the country’s response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for an “extensive briefing,” according to a letter sent Saturday to Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, Sheikh Yousef al-Otaiba.
In a letter Monday, the Justice Department said it would hold a briefing with representatives of five American government agencies.
The U.S. government has been investigating the Qatari government’s alleged attempts to subvert the decision of the U.S. government’s advisory panel on the World Cup.