A report revealed that Qatar hired a former CIA officer for years to help spy on football officials in a frantic effort to host the 2022 World Cup.
And the Associated Press reported in a report that Qatar sought to gain an advantage in securing the rights to host the World Cup by hiring Kevin Chalker, a former officer in the “CIA” who turned into a private contractor, to spy on the officials of the competing hosting files, and football officials. Who chose the winning country in 2010.
Chalker also worked for Qatar in the ensuing years to monitor critics of Doha from the football world.
The Associated Press investigation is based on interviews with Chalker’s former associates, as well as contracts, invoices, emails and a review of business documents.
Surveillance included having someone pretend to be a photojournalist to monitor a rival country’s show, as well as someone posing on Facebook as an attractive woman to approach the target, according to the investigation. Aides to Schalker and Qatar also sought to obtain phone records of a senior FIFA official prior to the 2010 vote, the records said.
Qatari government officials did not respond to The Associated Press’s calls for comment, and FIFA declined to comment.
Chalker, who opened an office in Doha and has an email account for the Qatari government, said in a statement that he and his companies “will never engage in illegal surveillance.”
Chalker declined requests for an interview with The Associated Press or detailed questions about his work with the Qatari government. He claimed that some of the documents reviewed by the Associated Press were forged.
The Associated Press reviewed hundreds of pages of documents linked to the Chalker companies, which included a report on the 2013 project that contained several photos of the Chalker team meeting with several football officials.