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Among the connections of FIFA and Qatar 2022: the Clinton Foundation

Hillary at Clinton Foundation
AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas
More questions to answer.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been questioned before about the donor list for the family foundation that her husband, former president Bill Clinton, started after he left office. Among the supporters of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation are foreign governments with questionable records on women’s rights, including Saudi Arabia—a bit problematic considering Clinton’s message of female empowerment.

Now, the scandal of the hour, the indictment of a slew of top officials at FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, has managed to raise new, awkward questions for the Clintons: It has emerged that both FIFA and the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee have donated money to the Clinton Foundation. The foundation has no involvement in the investigation or indictments announced yesterday.

As Zero Hedge points out, FIFA isn’t just a contributor to the foundation (donating between $50,000 and $100,000), but it joined the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), committing to developing education and infrastructure as a part of FIFA’s humanitarian work. FIFA’s secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, noted:

Our mission as world football’s governing body is to develop the game all around the world and to use the power of football for positive social change.

The US investigators leveling accusations of corruption and graft would probably argue that those humanitarian values weren’t exemplified by the 14 high-level officials they have indicted.

Nor is it evident in the decision to press on with holding the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, despite reports of human rights violations happening at the construction sites for the games. According to some estimates, the deaths of workers on the venues for the World Cup could reach 4,000—46 for each game played.

The foundation apparently accepted Qatar’s money despite Bill Clinton’s reported disappointment after learning that Qatar had won the World Cup bid (Clinton was the honorary chairman of the US bid for the 2022 tournament). The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee donated between $250,000 and $500,000, the foundation reports, and pledged to work on a project to “commit sports development to food security” with football training facilities that could be converted for the production of food. That project should now be entering its final stage.

The Clinton Foundation, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and FIFA have not responded to Quartz’s request for comments. This story will be updated with any response.

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