Now former FIFA President Sepp Blatter rocked the international football world Tuesday by announcing his resignation just days after Swiss authorities arrested seven senior FIFA officials.
As the FBI, Interpol, Swiss authorities and other law enforcement organizations weave through what could be one of the largest sports graft investigations ever, the iShares MSCI Qatar Capped ETF (NasdaqGM: QAT) could be primed for some punishment. [FIFA Scandal Plagues Qatar ETF]
For now, Qatar remains the host of the 2022 World Cup, but the OPEC member’s grasp on those hosting duties is tenuous now that Blatter has been sent packing. The international football community was stunned in December 2010 when FIFA awarded Qatar the 2022 World Cup. Questions surrounding that decision were, and still are, logical. After all, the World Cup is played entirely outdoors and during summer months, making a nation located in a desert region a curious choice to host an event of this nature.
The plan has been to move World Cup 2022 to the wintertime, but that may not be necessary because the country could lose its hosting privileges with Blatter, a strident defender of Qatar World Cup 2022, out the door.
“Insiders say the leaders of Qatar’s 2022 Supreme Committee (or local organising committee) have now been told not to set foot on U.S. soil for fear of being arrested by the FBI in its investigation into allegations that FIFA officials turned football into a ‘criminal enterprise’ and presided over a ‘World Cup of fraud,’” reports Heidi Blake for BuzzFeed.
To be fair, QAT, the lone dedicated Qatar exchange traded fund, has endured the FIFA flap. Sort of. The ETF is up nearly 2.1% over the past week. However, QAT is down almost 3% since May 13 when ESPN aired a documentary claiming Blatter refused to travel to the U.S. for fear he’d be questioned regarding the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals. Russia is slated to host the tournament in 2018.