MUSCAT, OMAN – DECEMBER 09: President of FIFA, Jospeh Sepp Blatter attends a press conference with the Oman Football Association at the Main Press Centre, Al-Musannah Sports City on December 9, 2010 in Muscat, Oman. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

In one of the stranger stories of this year or any other year, a group of reporters from two German TV networks, who were producing a film on FIFA corruption, were arrested in Qatar, detained and not allowed to leave the country for days.

The journalists working for German public TV networks ARD amd WDR were shooting a documentary on the FIFA corruption that led to Qatar being chosen as the home of the 2022 World Cup. According to WDR, the reporters’ equipment including computers, cameras, and mobiles were confiscated by the Qatari police and subsequently destroyed.

ARD reporter Florian Bauer had long been a critic of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and was working on a documentary called “The Selling of Football: Sepp Blatter and the Power of FIFAwhich was scheduled to air in Germany on Monday. Bauer tweeted:

According to WDR, the team was arrested by police after interviewing several workers in Doha, Qatar, then held for questioning by the secret police:

The WDR employees were not allowed to leave Qatar for five days. The camera equipment, laptops and personal mobile phones were confiscated and … returned only with a four-week delay. All data has been deleted and damaged pieces of equipment.

The selection of Qatar for the 2022 World Cup has long been a bone of contention especially as reports surfaced that $5 million in bribes were paid to ensure the event would be held there. In addition, conditions for migrant workers have come under scrutiny in the wake of hundreds of construction deaths from the building of stadiums for the World Cup.

Even if the Qatari’s did not do FIFA’s bidding in arresting and detaining the journalists, it certainly looks corrupt and as if the country has something to hide. No comment from FIFA and once again, it appears that Sepp Blatter is hiding under his desk.

[Russia Today/Deadspin]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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