- Associated Press - Monday, July 25, 2011

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) - The downfall of Mohamed bin Hammam is bringing fresh scrutiny to Qatar’s surprise victory in winning the rights to the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA on Saturday banned bin Hammam for life from soccer for his role in a bribery scandal in the governing body’s presidential election. The Asian soccer federation president is the most senior official convicted of corruption in FIFA’s 107-year history.

The two controversies are daunting for Qatar and the entire Gulf region, where sports have been elevated to something akin to a national cause.

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