Phony 'whistleblower’ apologises for lies about Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid

Keir Radnedge, editor for Sports Features Communications and chairman of the Football Commission of the International Sports Press Association, has uncovered the identity of the 'whistelblower' who alledged that Qatar had paid $1.5 million to three members of the FIFA Executive Committee to secure their votes for the hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

Mr Radnedge also revealed that the person, Ms Phaedra Almajid, an Arab-American who was employed by the Qatar bid between May 2009 and March 2010 as International Media Specialist, had confessed that she had lied about the allegations.

“I did something very wrong and I have to do everything I can to put the record straight. I have to clear my conscience and cannot live with these lies anymore and I am very sorry to everyone I hurt, especially all my colleagues at the Qatar Bid,” she told Radnedge.

She said she had decided to make her retraction “because it is the right thing to do” and insisted she had not come under any outside pressure nor had she been offered any financial inducement.

She also confirmed that she had sent a statement of apology accompanied by a sworn affidavit of the true facts to FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation, the African confederation, the Qatar FA, the Qatar World Cup 2022 Bid Committee and the national associations of Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria.

Almajid's significant fabrications were that the bid had offered bribes to FIFA Exco members Issa Hayatou, Jacques Anouma and Amos Adamu and had been actively considering financial support for the Argentinian FA led by Julio Grondona, FIFA’s senior vice-president.

The apology statement can be found at