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Attempts to undermine Qatar 2022 World Cup exposed

  • 10 February 2019
  • Author: QT01
  • Number of views: 1724
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Attempts to undermine Qatar 2022 World Cup exposed
Sir Lynton Crosby, one of the world’s best-known political operatives, offered to work on a campaign to cancel the 2022 Qatar World Cup and get it awarded to another country in return for £5.5mn, according to a leaked plan that gives a rare insight into his activities.
According to a report in The Guardian, the detailed pitch document – a proposal for a campaign to bring about the termination of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – was written in April last year and personally signed by Crosby.
He said that if engaged, his lobbying firm CTF Partners would require £300,000 a month for 18 months to focus on efforts to put pressure on FIFA to “restart the bidding process” and award the World Cup to another country.
As part of the pitch document, named “Project Ball”, Crosby said CTF Partners could set up full-time war rooms around the world to spread negative stories about Qatar in the mainstream media, run fake grassroots campaigns on social media, and lobby potentially friendly politicians, journalists and academics.
The pitch offers a glimpse into the secretive services offered by the Australian political strategist. Following success in his homeland he helped run the last four Conservative general election campaigns. He was given a knighthood by the former prime minister David Cameron after helping to secure an unexpected Conservative-majority government in the 2015 general election.
Crosby’s potential client for Project Ball was a Qatari based in London named Khalid al-Hail, who faced repeated questions over his funding and the nature of his campaign activities in London, which include his businesses paying MPs and prominent football players to appear at anti-Qatar events. His events have often aligned with the foreign policy objectives of Qatar’s regional opponents in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 
CTF Partners confirmed it provided Hail with “a minimal amount of media advice” during July’s state visit to London by the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani. During this visit a PR company that had previously worked with Hail made a disastrously farcical attempt to pay hundreds of actors to protest outside Downing Street during the Amir’s visit to see Theresa May.
In the document Crosby lays out a proposal to coalesce global criticism of Qatar into a single narrative.
“CTF Partners has decades of experience in running campaigns that change or reinforce voter opinions and behaviour,” Crosby said in the document. “That experience tells us that an integrated campaign, professionally run and deploying all the levers of influence available can be successful. We are confident that though challenging this is equally the case with putting pressure on FIFA to strip Qatar of its right to host the World Cup as for any other campaign that we have run.”

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