Qatar’s World Cup football organisers said yesterday that the recent dramatic events at FIFA would “not impact” on the country’s preparations for its hosting of the 2022 tournament.
In its first direct statement about football’s governing body since Tuesday’s resignation of long-time president Sepp Blatter, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said: “The recent events at FIFA will not impact on our preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
The committee said it was “ahead of schedule” as work had already begun on five of the stadiums which will be used during the tournament. It also added that it was used to attacks on its hosting of the World Cup.
“Qatar has faced criticism from the moment we won the right to bring this tournament to the Middle East for the first time.
“We remain committed to using the World Cup as a platform to break down prejudice and misconceptions, while leaving a lasting legacy for our country and the rest of the region.”
Responding to comments by English football boss Greg Dyke that Qatar should be nervous following Blatter’s decision to stand down after 17 years in charge of FIFA, the head of Qatar’s Football Association president HE Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani said in a statement that Qatar had nothing to hide over its bid.
“Mr Dyke’s instinct to immediately focus on stripping Qatar of the World Cup speaks volumes on his views concerning what will be the first FIFA World Cup to take place in the Middle East.”