GCC

FIFA president says Qatar World Cup is not under threat

Gianni Infantino says he expects the diplomatic situation to revert back to normal by the time the tournament is played.

Gianni Infantino says FIFA's role was to deal with football and not to interfere in geopolitics [Hamad Mohammed/Reuters]

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he does not believe the diplomatic crisis involving 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar will threaten its hosting of the tournament.

In an interview published in Swiss newspapers Le Matin Dimanche and Sonntagszeitung on Sunday, Infantino said he expects the diplomatic situation to revert back to normal by the time the tournament is played in five and a half years' time.

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Asked if he believed that Qatar's hosting was in danger, Infantino replied: "No. In any case, I am not in the habit of speculating and I'm not going to this time either."

Infantino said that FIFA was watching the situation and was in regular contact with the Qatari authorities.

"The essential role of FIFA, as I understand it, is to deal with football and not to interfere in geopolitics," he said.

Qatar will be hosting the World Cup between November 21 and December 18, 2022, and is scheduled to host several events across different sports in the lead-up to the tournament.

This year it is organising 72 events, 39 of which will be international competitions.

It has already hosted the 10th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup and an IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, and a FINA Swimming World Cup is scheduled for September.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies