New evidence has emerged tying a former Democratic member of the House of Representatives to a Qatar-backed effort to undermine the United States’ bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, leading some to highlight the possibility that she colluded with a foreign nation.
In an investigation over the weekend, The Sunday Times published whistleblower documents indicating that Qatari officials were well aware of an apparent effort made by a sitting member of Congress — who was identified in follow-up pieces in Al Arabiya and Slate as former Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick — to undermine the U.S. World Cup Bid.
Just days before the official #FIFA vote in 2010, Politico said Detroit Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick was introducing a resolution aimed at throwing a wrench in the gears of the US bid to host the 2022 #WorldCup, up for a vote by FIFAhttps://t.co/HtAKX2yWes
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 31, 2018
“One of the leaked emails, sent to Qatar’s deputy bid leader Ali al-Thawadi, shows that the Gulf state was aware of a plot to spread ‘poison’ against its chief rivals — even cooking up a resolution for the US Congress on the ‘harmful’ effects of an American World Cup in the week of the vote,” The Sunday Times reported.
Kilpatrick’s resolution — which attempted to stifle the bid over a demand for more education funding — declared that “no taxpayer money should be spent in the pursuit of hosting international sports events including the Olympics or the World Cup.”
For such a simple resolution, Congresswoman Kilpatrick notably had no issue with receiving press on her challenge to the U.S. World Cup bid. It was never even formally introduced, but received a nice chunk of media coverage.
Kilpatrick’s tenure in Congress lasted from 1997 to 2011.
According to emails obtained by The Sunday Times, the effort included “recruiting journalists, bloggers and high-profile figures in each market to raise questions and promote negative aspects of their respective bids in the media.”
“Dozens of articles have appeared in US, Australian and international media that have embarrassed or undermined these bids,” it added.
In a piece titled, “World cup vs. gym class?” Ben Smith — who is now the editor in chief of BuzzFeed — acted as a stenographer for Kilpatrick, publishing the resolution in full in his Politico blog.
The resolution also received coverage in Politico from Byron Tau, who is now a congressional reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, CBS News and many other outlets reported on her efforts.
In the end, Qatar’s “black ops” project was a success. Doha will host the World Cup in 2022.