Judge-led French probe starts into award of 2022 football World Cup to Qatar

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In June 2019 Michel Platini, the former head of European football's governing body UEFA, was interviewed by police as a witness over the circumstances of the award of the 2022 football World Cup to Qatar. Two former colleagues of Nicolas Sarkozy were also questioned about a lunch hosted for Qatar's crown prince by the French president in 2010, attended by Platini, just days before the controversial vote to give the tournament to the oil and gas-rich state. Now the French financial crimes prosecution unit has launched a judicial investigation into the affair over alleged “corruption”, Mediapart has learnt. Former French football star Platini has strongly denied any wrongdoing. Yann Philippin and Antton Rouget report.

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France's financial crimes prosecution unit the Parquet national financier (PNF) has opened a judge-led investigation into “passive and active corruption” over the controversial decision by football's governing body FIFA to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, Mediapart has learned.