— Published 24 November 2021

Qatar and its former CIA agent

The case seems huge. According to an Associated Press investigation, Qatar used the services of a former CIA agent during the 2022 World Cup bidding campaign. Kevin Chalker, who has been converted to private intelligence, was paid for several years by the Gulf state. His mission: to spy on FIFA and the other countries bidding to host the event. The AP investigation is based on anonymous sources. It reveals that the former CIA agent worked for a company, Global Risk Advisors, and several subsidiaries. Kevin Chalker is said to have provided Qatar with computer specialists and elite field agents. FIFA was targeted, with priority given to its members most critical of Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup. They were allegedly approached via a fictitious project, called Merciless, with a budget of 387 million dollars over nine years. Jérôme Valcke, the former secretary general of the world body, is said to have been watched very closely. The mission entrusted to the former American agent also consisted of obtaining, via a false Facebook account, information on rival bids, including the one submitted by the United States. Since the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, Kevin Chalker has not disappeared from the landscape. His services are reportedly used to track criticism of Qatar and to monitor foreign workers on World Cup stadium sites. According to calculations by the Associated Press, the various front companies set up by Kevin Chalker would have amassed around 46 million dollars in 2017 alone.