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Jonathan Alter: Qatar may have paid $10 mil for each FIFA vote

Dec 14, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

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The news just keeps getting better for Sepp Blatter and FIFA. Right on the heels of the FIFA chief’s unfortunately snide comment about gay sex at the World Cup, comes this series of tweets from Newsweek columnist and NBC News contributing correspondent Jonathan Alter, who writes that a “great source” says that some members of the World Cup Selection Committee were bribed $10 million each for their vote.

Hey, soccer fans: a great source says that most members of the FIFA World Cup Selection Com got a (legal) bribe of $10 million from Qatar.:

Soccer scandal: Brits, U.S. (Including Bill Clinton) wasted time going to Zurich to win World Cup. Fix was in for Qatar!!

Soccer scandal cont: Press in FIFA nations shld probe how FIFA members spend their new $10 million apiece. Qatar bribed way to victory.

Soccer scandal exclusive cont: That’s the inside word: Qatar paid $10m for each FIFA vote. Only reason it got World Cup. Who will probe?

While it’s already been reported that Qatar threw around a lot of money to get the Cup, the depth of the shenanigans has not. As far as I know, it’s not illegal to bribe a FIFA official — unless it’s with endangered parrots smuggled in your pants. But if this source turns out to be accurate, it could be the blow that places Blatter in the penalty box for good. This whole Russia/Qatar selection process has been a total mess, and unless FIFA wants 12 years of open warfare, it had better get into damage control right quick.