ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Gulf Arab nations who cut ties with Qatar have reportedly asked FIFA to prevent the country from hosting the 2022 World Cup.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and a few other nations have written to FIFA, the world football's governing body, to demand Qatar be barred from hosting the event.
According to Swiss website The Local, the Gulf Arab nations collectively wrote to FIFA “asking it to remove Qatar as hosts.”
In June, a Saudi-led boycott resulted in the cutting of diplomatic ties with Qatar who was accused of supporting terrorism.
Qatar denied the claims against it, labeling the decision from its neighboring countries to sever ties “unjustified” and with “no basis in fact.”
FIFA denied seeing a copy of the letter, stating their president Gianni Infantino had not received the document.
“The FIFA president has never received such a letter and subsequently has [no comment] on that,” a spokesman for the organization said.
The spokesman reiterated that “FIFA is in regular contact with the Qatar 2022 Local Organizing Committee…relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
A source in Doha closely “familiar” with the Qatar government’s World Cup preparations said they are aware the Saudis and others “are engaged in such a move,” Reuters reported.
However, the source reassured Qatar had not yet received any letter from FIFA.
In mid-June, a request from the UAE to prevent Qatari referees from officiating a match against Thailand was approved.
“The decision has been taken for sporting reasons and in view of the current geopolitical situation,” FIFA said regarding their decision.
Editing by G.H. Renaud