BBC’s Sports News Correspondent Richard Conway in talks with Qatar World Cup 2022 organisers about becoming a spin doctor for the state
- BBC’s Sports News Correspondent in talks over becoming spin doctor for Qatar
- Richard Conway resigned from the BBC in May but is on gardening leave
- Conway closing in on deal where he would promote Qatar World Cup in the UK
Conway resigned from the BBC in May but is on gardening leave until mid-July and is therefore still receiving a salary funded by licence-fee payers.
His move from poacher to gamekeeper is believed to have caused raised eyebrows and provoked some embarrassment within the BBC.
Richard Conway (centre), the BBC’s Sports News Correspondent, is in talks about becoming a spin doctor for the 2022 World Cup
At the Corporation, it was his job to scrutinise and unmask any alleged wrongdoing in the corridors of power at FIFA and he made several trips to Qatar in his role.
Last December, Conway presented a video package from Qatar trailing a winter World Cup entitled: ‘A World Cup final in December: what will it be like for supporters?’
Now, however, he is closing in on a major contract that would see him promote the Qatar World Cup in the UK ahead of the 2022 tournament.
On May 20, Conway revealed on Twitter that he is leaving the BBC and said he would be founding a ‘strategic communications company, specialising in sport.’
It is understood that Conway tendered his resignation at 10am on Thursday May 16 and by 5pm, the Corporation and Conway had agreed he should be immediately taken off air.
Conway is closing in on a deal where he would promote the Qatar World Cup in the UK
The parties agreed there would be the potential for a conflict of interests, particularly as Conway was also due to cover the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal in Baku.
The journalist is also discussing future relationships with organisations involved in the Europa final. Conway has not been into the BBC offices in Salford since resigning.
Conway did not wish to comment publicly but sources insisted no conversations took place with Qatar during trips funded by the BBC and his new company is not yet trading.
Conway is the favourite for the job after meetings with Hassan Al-Thawadi, the secretary general of the World Cup Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy
However, several Doha insiders confirmed that he has held positive meetings with Hassan Al-Thawadi, the secretary general of the World Cup Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. In Qatar, Conway is considered the clear favourite for the job.
The 2022 World Cup has been controversial due to alleged poor working conditions and several deaths of migrant workers in the construction of the stadiums.
Earlier this week, former UEFA president Michel Platini was questioned by French anti-corruption investigators over the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar.
There are also concerns about the safety of LGBT supporters in a country that outlaws homosexuality.
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘As soon as Richard resigned from his BBC role and made us aware of the career he hoped to pursue, we removed him from his editorial position to ensure there was no conflict of interest.’
Have something to say? Leave a comment: