THERE have been relentless plans by some countries, led by Australia to attack Qatar and destabilise FIFA. This has been on ever since the world football governing body awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Russia and the oil-rich Gulf State respectively in 2010.
Remarkably, the western world, particularly some of the countries that bided alongside Russia and Qatar have not given up on their plan to ensure that Qatar and FIFA in particular never get a breathing space.
This has manifested in orchestrated media campaigns and numerous allegations of fraud surrounding the 2022 World Cup hosting right. Incidentally, Australia was one of the bidding nations.
A fresh report has it that a Swiss weekly newspaper, Weltwoche has published damning detail of an Australian-led campaign to attack Qatar, destabilise FIFA and fund a disinformation campaign against FIFA election candidate Shaikh Salman bin Al-Khalifa.
The paper has access to a series of emails outlining correspondence between various parties that show a funded campaign that as its ultimate objective appears to have the dissolution of FIFA as an organisation.
Not surprisingly, the Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow who initially worked as the whistle blower over human rights issues and Qatar is at the centre of this plan.
She has not hidden her resentment over the country hosting the tournament and has openly campaigned against the state hosting the 2022 World Cup. As this campaign lost its global news value the ITUC shifted its focus to campaigning against FIFA and its president Sepp Blatter, and then on to FIFA candidate Shaikh Salman.
As the campaign grew, so did the group behind it. ITUC communications Director Tim Noonan, another Australian, hired Australian PR agency Essential Media Communications (EMC) to launch the campaign against Qatar. EMC Director Gemma Swart started to work as the press officer for Sharan Burrow alongside Noonan.
Thei group was recently joined by former Australian FA official and FIFA whistleblower Bonita Mersiades, and anti-FIFA campaigner Jaimie Fuller, an Australian, who owns sportswear manufacturer Skins. They are founders of the NewFIFANow pressure group with British MP Damian Collins. Transparency International’s Deborah Unger later came into the fold.
Weltwoche outlines correspondence within the group as their focus shifts from Qatar to FIFA to Shaikh Salman as he emerged as a leading contender for the FIFA presidency.
The weekly recalled a sequence of events that happened just before Sepp Blatter’s re-election on May 27, 2015, and the arrest of several top FIFA officials a week after the election.
“Blatter was still re-elected but a week later on June 2, he announced his resignation for February 2016.
Swart was naturally excited by “Blatter’s exit visa” but was already looking ahead. In an email to Noonan she writes: “Qatar and Russia should now be invalidated. We can have a new assignment. And six months of open path for a campaign toward the Congress”.