FIFA has revealed that they’re in “direct contact” with organising committee of the 2022 World Cup amid unraveling situation in the Middle East. Football’s world governing body however chose not to comment on the diplomatic situation in the Middle East over worsening ties between the countries.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries in the Middle East have severed ties with Qatar on Monday. They have accused the Qataris of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among the biggest and most powerful nations in the Arab world. In response, Qatar’s foreign ministry today said it regrets the ‘unjustified’ decision made by the Arab countries.
FIFA in a detailed statement said that the body was in “in regular contact with the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
“We have no further comments for the time being,” it added.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s local World Cup organising committee and Asia’s footballing body Asian Football Confederation (AFC) both declined to comment.
Qatar’s national team are still participating in the qualifying rounds for the 2018 World Cup to be played in Russia and are bottom of the table with four points from seven games. They are yet to play South Korea, China and Syria. The chances of Qatar finishing third in the group are grim but still mathematically possible. Should Qatar make it forward, they will play a playoff match against the team that finishes third in the other Asian qualifying group, with both Saudi Arabia and the UAE among potential opponents.
(With inputs from Reuters)