Allocation of 2022 World Cup to Qatar: Reynold Temari convicted, for the first time in this case

The probe into the controversial award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar is intensifying: FIFA’s former Tahiti vice-president, Reynold Temari, was on Monday indicted by investigative judges in Paris for passive private corruption, the first in the case.

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) confirmed on Saturday information from Le Monde that Mr Temari was indicted by the investigating magistrate in a letter dated 22 May.

The former president of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) was placed under the more favorable status of a supporting witness in the case from November 2021.

Contacted by AFP, Mr Temari and his lawyer, Me Gilles Jourdain, declined to comment.

In this judicial inquiry opened in 2019 in Paris on the designation of the Emirates as the host country, the investigating magistrates want to know whether the vote in favor of Qatar for the World Cup-2022 football was influenced by Michel Platini, the boss of UEFA. Have it. , was received in return for the consideration.

At the center of the suspicion is a lunch held in 2010 between the then president of the republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Platini and two senior Qatari leaders.

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But magistrates are also interested in Mr Temari’s changed face a day before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar.

President Nicolas Sarkozy during France’s bid for the 2016 European Championships in Geneva May 28, 2010 (AFP/Archives – PHILIPPE DESMAZES)

He was suspended for one year by FIFA (the International Football Federation) on 17 November 2010 for breaching the code of conduct following articles in the Sunday Times, Reynold Temari could not sit on the executive committee for the vote on 2 December 2010.

The OFC therefore had to appoint a replacement who would have given their vote to Australia in the first round of voting and then, in the event of failure, to the United States, Qatar’s main rivals.

However, Mr Temari appealed against his suspension on the night of 30 November to 1 December, after he had previously announced that he had accepted the sanction and did not have the reasons given by the ethics committee allowing him to do so. .

By appealing, in accordance with FIFA’s statutes, he deprived the OFC of a representative during the vote. On 2 December 2010, Qatar won ahead of the United States, still the favourites.

In October 2022, during a press conference, Mr. Temari said he was the victim of a fraud, explaining that he had received a confidential note from adviser Jean-Charles Brissard before deciding to appeal, informing him that It was reported that the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office planned to prosecute him for corruption, which was false.

He claimed that, according to this note, the “waiver of appeal on his part” amounted to “an admission of guilt” and would compromise his defence. According to him, it was these false elements which were prompting him to appeal.

In this section, the assumption of defense costs for Mr Temari by the influential Qatari Mohammed bin Hammam amounting to 305,000 euros also troubled the investigating judges.

Just like the all-expenses paid trip to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to meet Mr. Bin Hammam, between its approval and the FIFA vote.

This amount was paid to Mr. Brissard’s company JCB Consulting through an earlier dated agreement.

Mr. Brissard, who has also been placed under supporting witness status and challenges any wills to the scandal, was summoned by the investigating judges on May 22, according to multiple sources close to the case. But this summon has been postponed indefinitely.

“We are satisfied to see that the file is making progress and steps are being taken,” reacted to the file, Jean-Baptiste Soffron, a lawyer for the civil party Anticor. “Particularly since it is not so common to move people from the assisted witness position to the accused position, which necessarily prompts a new analysis of the file by the judges”.

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