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France’s Sarkozy Faces Graft Probe Over Qatar’s World Cup Bid

© REUTERS / Philippe WojazerNicolas Sarkozy, former head of the Les Republicains political party, attends a political rally in Franconville, France, as he campaigns for the French conservative presidential primary, September 19, 2016.
Nicolas Sarkozy, former head of the Les Republicains political party, attends a political rally in Franconville, France, as he campaigns for the French conservative presidential primary, September 19, 2016. - Sputnik International
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French investigators are reportedly looking into whether Nicolas Sarkozy accepted bribes in return for support of Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

French MP for the right-wing Les Republicains (LR) party Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet arrives at the Elysee presidential Palace to attend Emmanuel Macron's formal inauguration ceremony as French President - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — French investigators are looking into whether former president Nicolas Sarkozy accepted bribes in return for support of Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, media reported Friday.

The world football's governing body awarded Qatar the right to host the tournament after a vote in 2010, with France as one of its main backers, according to The Daily Telegraph. The bidding process has since raised bribery concerns.

The British newspaper cited its sources close to the probe as saying that investigators suspected Sarkozy might have capitalized on French-Qatari transactions that took place around the time of the bidding, such as the 2011 sale of a Paris football club to the oil-rich Gulf emirate for 50 million euros.

The ethics committee of the FIFA, which has been at the heart of a massive corruption scandal, has conducted an inquiry into bidding fraud claims. A report published in June 2017 stated there was no sign that Russia or Qatar had tried to tilt the results of bidding for 2018 and 2022 games in their favor.

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