The FIFA World Cup 2022 is finally here, with hosts Qatar set to face Ecuador in the opener on Sunday, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The hosts have had to get past countless controversies to reach this point. Some of the accusations revolve around Qatar paying bribes to win their World Cup bid and also allegations of human rights abuse for their migrant workers. Now the Arab country finds itself caught in another fresh scandal, just a day before their World Cup opener. According to Amjad Taha, an expert in strategic political affairs and regional director of the British center in Saudi Arabia, Qatar allegedly bribed eight Ecuadorian players 7.4 million dollars to lose the opener.
He stated that his sources were insiders from the Qatar and Ecuador camps, and also urged the world to fight FIFA corruption.
Taking to Twitter, he tweeted, “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”.
Since the allegation, neither Qatar nor FIFA has revealed a statement. The country also found themselves in controversy after banning beer in stadiums. Hoping to brush past the allegations, Qatar will be aiming to impress in their World Cup opener vs Ecuador. They have faced each other in three games, with both sides winning a game each.
The last time they met was in October 2018, when Qatar sealed a 4-3 victory. Qatar, who are also World Cup debutants, will be eyeing glory in front of the home crowd. The last time a team making its debut in the World Cup won its first match was in 2002 when Senegal defeated France.