LONDON: Sir Lynton Crosby, the political campaign strategist, has been reported as having proposed a strategy for rival nations to have Qatar replaced as host of the 2022 World Cup finals writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Australian Crosby, who fell out of favour with the UK Conservative party after the 2017 General Election muddle, has been named by The Guardian on the basis of leaked documents.
It has long been known that PR operatives had been touting their anti-Qatar services around neighbouring Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The latter pair are both involved in a political and economic boycott of Qatar.
What remains surprising is what Crosby thought he could add to the heavy pressure on Qatar from high-profile international NGOs over the original FIFA bidding process, human rights and workers’ rights.
Crosby reportedly requested the equivalent of $6.4m payable to his lobbying firm, CTF Partners, for a campaign “that would associate Doha with terrorism in the minds of the public.” His services would also include putting pressure on world federation FIFA to “restart the bidding process.”
The document, named “Project Ball” said CTF Partners could set up full-time war rooms around the world to spread negative stories in the mainstream media, run fake grassroots campaigns on social mediaand lobby potentially friendly politicians, journalists and academics.
According to The Guardian another potential client was “a self-styled Qatari opposition leader based in London named Khalid Al-Hail.”
The paper has said that Crosby has not responded to requests for comment.