“Qatar 2022: a French scandal?  “, on France 2: behind-the-scenes revelations of the emirate's choice for the World Cup

“Qatar 2022: a French scandal? “, on France 2: behind-the-scenes revelations of the emirate’s choice for the World Cup

Migrant workers wait on a sidewalk in Doha, Qatar.  The documentary by Pierre-Stéphane Fort and Nicolas Bellot denounces their working conditions on the construction sites of the 2022 World Cup.


On November 23, 2010, the President of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, receives Michel Platini, President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), at lunch at the Elysée Palace, in the presence of the Crown Prince ( and current Emir) of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, and the Prime Minister of Qatar. What did the guests discuss, a few days before the designation, on December 2, 2010, of the gas emirate as the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Also read: The lunch at the Elysee that led to the Qatar 2022 World Cup

After eight months of a very detailed investigation, based on numerous legal documents, the magazine “Complément d’Enquête”, in collaboration with the investigation unit of Radio France, brings new elements on the alleged role of France in the award of the Mondial to the emirate, which will be the subject of a judicial investigation opened in 2019 for “corruption” by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office.

Why did the influential Platini finally vote for the emirate? Did he receive any compensation? Did Nicolas Sarkozy “monetize” France’s support in exchange for Qatar Sports Investments’ takeover of Paris Saint-Germain, then owned by the Colony Capital fund of his friend Sébastien Bazin, current CEO of the Accor group?

Also read: World Cup 2022 in Qatar, main rule at a lunch at the Elysee in 2010

A note from the diplomatic cell at the Elysée in November 2010, written before lunch at the Elysée and consulted by “Complément d’Enquête”, sheds new light on the matter: among the items on the agenda for this meeting was Qatar’s commitment to the World Cup, as well as “the sale of missile defense systems” Y “the sale of combat aircraft”(from Dassault’s Rafale).

Sports adviser to Mr Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace, author of the notes on awarding the 2022 World Cup to the Head of State, former MP Sophie Dion (LR) denies any collusion with Qatar but admits receiving €13,000 as part of a €52,000 consulting contract signed with the emirate in February 2012, when he was still officiating at the Elysee.

Behind the scenes

Among the clues discovered by director Pierre-Stéphane Fort are also the messages sent by Sébastien Bazin to his relatives, evoking the “key messages” forwarded to Nicolas Sarkozy before lunch on November 23, 2010 and a “agreement” with Qatar.

Equipped with a tiny camera, Pierre-Stéphane Fort also filmed behind the scenes the preparations for this World Cup: the images are eloquent. With the help of migrant workers, he made his way to Doha’s industrial zone, where he observed the unsanitary conditions – the word is weak – of the premises in which the workers live.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Qatar World Cup 2022, the reasons for the discomfort

The questionable practices of an Accor subcontractor security provider, Al Bateel Security, and one of the seven providers of the Al Messila hotel in Doha (where the French team will stay during the competition) are highlighted for the disgraceful treatment inflicted on your employees.

“If it hadn’t been for football it would have been worse, much worse”, believes the president of the French Football Federation (FFF), Noël Le Graët. Just before the broadcast of the documentary, the FFF finally decided “send a specific mission to verify on site that all service providers respect social rights”.

Qatar 2022: a French scandal?, documentary by Pierre-Stéphane Fort and Nicolas Bellot (Friday, 2022, 52 min). Issued as part of the “Complément d’Enquête” magazine, on France 2, in collaboration with the research unit of Radio France.

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