Vice-President of European Parliament arrested in World Cup fraud case

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office of Belgium arrested Vice-President of the European Parliament Eva Kylie. She is accused of corruption during the selection of Qatar to host the World Cup.

According to the federal prosecutor’s office, Kaili was detained red-handed, Politico reported.

In addition, earlier police also conducted searches in 16 locations in Brussels, arresting four people for questioning. This operation is linked to possible bribery on the part of Qatar.

Four officials detained in World Cup corruption case

Belgian media Le Soir reported those detained alongside Kaili, including Luca Visentini, secretary general of the International Trade Union Confederation, and Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former S&D Member of European Parliament from Italy who chaired the EP’s human rights subcommittee. 

The latter was last month elected general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which has 200 million members worldwide.

In total, four people were detained, Le Soir reported.

Kaili’s statement in favor of Qatar

Kaili, one of the European Parliament’s 14 vice presidents, called Qatar a “frontrunner in labor rights” after meeting with the country’s labor minister, despite severe international concerns about conditions for stadium construction employees.

Facts about Eva Kaili

Eva Kaili is a former TV presenter; since 2014, she has been a member of the European Parliament from the Greek party. This year she also took the chair of Vice President of the European Parliament, responsible, in particular, for relations with the Middle East.

According to some reports, Qatar, which is currently hosting the World Cup, tried to influence the decisions of the European Parliament by offering large sums of money. During the searches, investigators seized a total of the following:

  • about 600 thousand euros in cash,
  • a large number of computer equipment,
  • several mobile phones.

The World Cup in Qatar in 2022 was supposed to start on November 21. However, FIFA postponed the start of the tournament. The opening match of the 2022 World Cup took place on November 20.

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