Qatar Airways wants to sponsor FIFA despite scandal
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Qatar Airways plans to become a World Cup sponsor for FIFA, despite world football's govering body and its president being investigated by US prosecutors and the FBI on bribery and corruption allegations.
"With the World Cup coming to Qatar, we have had advanced internal discussions regarding this, but we are not in advanced discussions with FIFA," a Qatar Airways spokesperson said on Tuesday.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is being investigated under the same operation that led to the arrest of seven Fifa officials last week and the indictment of a total of 14 worldwide, unexpectedly announced his intention to resign on Tuesday, just days after he was re-elected for a fifth term at the helm of FIFA.
FIFA has denied that Jérôme Valcke, the top lieutenant of Blatter, was involved in $10 million in bank transactions at the heart of a the investigation.
The Qatar Airways spokesperson said Valcke had no role in the payments, which were authorised by the Julio Grondona, who was chairman of FIFA's Finance Committee at the time and died last year.
The former Fifa vice-president, Jack Warner, current vice presidents Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo, and the former president of Concacaf, Nicolás Leoz, were among those arrested last week on charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering conspiracies.
The FBI has not commented publicly on the claims.