Ex Barcelona chief reportedly received €30,000 from Qatar to buy World Cup votes


MADRID – Former Barcelona President Sandro Rosell is said to have been involved in bribing officials who had the voting right in the election of the 2022 World Cup, according to a report of the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) under the Spanish Police Corps, the Spanish newspaper El Nacional reported.

The report showed how Rosell could have rigged the final result of the vote through several bribes to FIFA’s African leaders to vote for the Arab country, which paid him 30 million euros for his services for eight years.

This information came from an investigation that closed the day after Rosell’s arrest last May.

The report also indicated that the 30 million euros collected between 2007 and 2014 went to the account of Bonus Sports Marketing, the company owned by Sandro Rosell. The company managed the transfers between 2013 and 2014 for a number of African countries, of which presidents of their soccer federations voted in the elections for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.

The report also referred to the ongoing investigation in Switzerland, which links Russell with the alleged plot to rig the election to let Qatar host the World Cup.

Rossell’s reported involvement in bribery is reinforced by other details of the report, as he received an invoice of 499,891 euros, which was deposited in his personal account. It was also doubtful that it was personally received and deposited in a personal bank account and that was not in the name of any of the companies he owns, so that it can be assumed that he accepted it as a brokerage.

It is also worthy to note that the United States had sought details of some transactions and accounts of Rosell and it presumes that the US authorities would be actively involved in the investigation. -- SG