A U.K. bookmaker has stopped taking bets on whether Qatar will lose the right to host the 2022 World Cup in light of the latest allegations regarding FIFA's bidding process.
The Gala Coral Group Ltd. gambling firm won't take any more action since their oddsmakers feel there's a good chance the tournament won't be played in Qatar in 2022 – a reasonable proposition at this point.
The decision was made after a recent report alleging that a Qatari representative had paid millions in bribes to other FIFA officials in order to garner support for the country's successful bid.
What's more, “the uncertainty [of the World Cup status] caused stocks and bonds to tumble on Qatari markets this week,” Bloomberg reported. The infrastructure, roads and stadiums are expected to cost more than $200 billion, making the would-be spectacle easily the most expensive World Cup or Olympics in history.
The odds of Qatar losing the World Cup were as high as 5-1, and bettors were reportedly gambling five figures on the possibility, a spokesman for the company said. For what it's worth, the U.S. is even-money to host the event, given all the latest news.
There's currently an independent ethics investigation into FIFA's bidding process, which is set to conclude next week. American attorney Michael Garcia will reveal his findings in mid-July, and his details could put even more pressure on FIFA.
Not to say there isn't a ton already, considering the corruption allegations and the shocking reports of thousands of immigrant workers dying while building the stadiums. Garcia's investigation, coupled with the mounting criticism of next week's World Cup, could be too much for FIFA.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has remained adamant that the Qatar World Cup is happening. Unfortunately, you can no longer bet against it.