Algeria faces Tunisia in the 2021 Arab Cup final on Saturday, December 18, 2021 (12/18/21) at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Kayt, Qatar.
Cable-free fans can watch the game for free via a trial fuboTV.
Here’s what you need to know:
What: Arab Cup Final
Which: Tunisia vs Algeria
When: Saturday December 18, 2021
Time: 10 a.m.ET
Or: Al-Bayt Stadium
TV: Fox Sports 1
Direct: fuboTV (free try)
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The tiny Arab nation of Qatar has employed a former CIA officer for years to help spy on football officials as part of a sparing effort to win and keep the 2022 World Cup tournament, investigation finds from the Associated Press. .
It’s part of a trend that former US intelligence operatives will work for foreign governments with questionable human rights records that has officials in Washington concerned about and prompts some members of Congress to demand a review. more depth of an opaque and lucrative market.
The World Cup is the most popular sports tournament on the planet. It is also the occasion for Qatar, one of the richest countries in the world, to have an evening of coming out on the world stage.
The AP investigation found that Qatar was seeking an edge in securing accommodation rights by hiring former CIA officer turned private entrepreneur Kevin Chalker to spy on rival bidding teams and senior football officials who picked the winner in 2010. Chalker also worked for Qatar in the following years to keep an eye out for the country’s criticism in the football world, the AP found.
The AP’s investigation is based on interviews with former Chalker associates as well as contracts, invoices, emails and a review of business documents.
The surveillance job involved asking someone to pose as a photojournalist to keep tabs on a rival country’s offer and deploying a Facebook honeypot, in which someone was posing as a attractive woman, to get closer to a target, according to a review of records. Agents working for Chalker and the Sheikh of the Persian Gulf also searched the phone call logs of at least one senior FIFA official ahead of the 2010 vote, according to a review of the files.
Chalker also pledged he could help the country “maintain dominance” over its large population of foreign workers, according to an internal document from one of Chalker’s companies reviewed by the PA. Qatar – a country of 2.8 million people, including only 300,000 citizens – relies heavily on foreign labor to build the stadiums and other infrastructure needed for the tournament.
Qatari government officials did not respond to requests for comment. FIFA also declined to comment.
Chalker, who opened an office in Doha and had a Qatari government email account, said in a declaration provided by a representative that he and his companies would never “engage in illegal surveillance.”
Chalker declined requests for an interview or answers to detailed questions about his work for the Qatari government. He also claimed that some of the documents examined by the PA were forgeries.
The AP reviewed hundreds of pages of documents from Chalker’s companies, including a 2013 Project Update Report containing several photos of Chalker’s staff meeting with various football officials. Multiple sources with authorized access provided documents to the PA. The sources said they were troubled by Chalker’s work for Qatar and requested anonymity because they feared reprisals.
The PA took several steps to verify the authenticity of the documents. This includes confirming details of various documents from various sources, including former Chalker associates and football officials; cross-reference document content with contemporary news accounts and publicly available business records; and review electronic document metadata, or digital history, if applicable, to confirm who created the documents and when. Chalker did not provide the PA with any evidence to support its position that some of the documents in question had been forged.
Many of the documents reviewed by the PA describing the work undertaken by Chalker and its companies on behalf of Qatar are also described in a trial filed by Elliott Broidy, a one-time fundraiser for former US President Donald Trump. Broidy is suing Chalker and accused him of mounting a massive Qatari-led hacking and espionage campaign that includes the use of former Western intelligence operatives to monitor FIFA officials. Broidy’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment. Chalker’s legal team argued that the lawsuit is without merit.
Former associates say Chalker’s companies have provided a variety of services in Qatar in addition to intelligence work. His company Global Risk Advisors bills itself as “an international strategic consulting firm specializing in cybersecurity, military and police training, and intelligence-based advisory services” and its subsidiaries have won small contracts with the FBI for a training course. rope training and technical consultancy work. for the Democratic National Committee.
Chalker worked at the CIA as an operations officer for about five years, according to former associates. Operations officers typically work undercover trying to recruit assets to spy on behalf of the United States. The CIA declined to comment and generally does not speak of its former officers.
Chalker’s background in the CIA was attractive to Qatari officials, former associates said.
“It was part of his mystique. All these rich young Qatari people play spy games with this guy and he sells them, ”said a former associate, who, like others interviewed by the AP, spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals for exposing Qatar’s espionage efforts.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)