There is drama at the World Cup even before a ball has been kicked. FIFA has been alerted of possible match-fixing after rumours swirled around social media that Qatar was bribing Ecuador to throw the opening game against the host. Reports indicate that Qatar bribed eight Ecuadorian players USD 7.4 million to lose the opening game 1-0. The report further says the goal will be scored in the second half of the game.
The source of the information is Amjad Taha, who is the regional director of the British Center for Middle East Studies. Taha 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."
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
— Amjad Taha أمجد طه (@amjadt25) November 17, 2022
While these claims have not yet been verified, it is yet another embarrassment the host nation has had to face. FIFA has been heavily criticised for giving the hosting rights to Qatar, which has been accused of human rights violations. Reportedly, many migrant workers have lost their lives building the different stadiums of the World Cup and Qatar has unfavourable sentiments towards the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
And this hasn't gone unnoticed as many fans and fan groups have boycotted this year's World Cup, with singer Dua Lipa refusing to be part of the opening ceremony citing these human rights violations.
Kick offQatar kicks off the first-ever World Cup in the Middle East by taking on Ecuador on Sunday, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The game is scheduled for 9:30 pm IST, and is available on Sports 18 and Sports 18 HD on TV, and on the Jiocinema streaming platform.