Note hints Spain-Portugal and Qatar in the clear

November 11, 2010

A note passed between a Spanish and Qatari Fifa member saying “we’ve won” indicates the country’s respective bidding teams for World Cup 2018 and 2022 will escape action over allegations of collusion, rather than they have won the hosting rights.

At the last Fifa executive committee meeting, Spanish member Angel Villar Llona passed a note to his colleague Mohamed Bin Hammam, from Qatar, which was seen by other members.

The existence of a note has been rumoured for some time and it can now be confirmed.

It can be revealed that the note stated just four words: ‘’Congratulations, vamos a ganar’’ which translates as ‘’We are going to win’’.

Chuck Blazer, the United States’ Fifa executive committee member who saw the note, believes it related to Villar Llona being confident of escaping sanctions from Fifa’s ethics committee over allegations of collusion, banned under bidding rules, rather than that the countries were going to win their bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.

‘’It is more likely the note referred to the subject that the previous conversation had been about,” Blazer said.

‘’That discussion had been about the ethics committee and the fact that nobody had provided any hard evidence of collusion.’’

The note was passed by Villar Llona during the Fifa executive meeting on October 29 in Zurich.

The note was also seen by another Fifa executive member, Michel D’Hooghe from Belgium. Both men speak Spanish and it is understood Bin Hammam actually asked Blazer to translate the Spanish phrase – the word ‘Congratulations’ was in English.