Qatar bid promises to build bridges
Gulf state says first World Cup on Arab soil can help relations with western world.
Last Modified: 17 May 2009 14:15 GMT

Qatar want to be the first Arab nation to host football's top tournament [GALLO/GETTY]
Qatar launched their bid to stage the World Cup finals in 2022 with a vow to bridge the gap between the western and Arab worlds.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, president of the Qatar 2022 bid, launched the process in front of a 50,000 sell-out crowd at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha for the Emir Cup Final.

"Qatar 2022 is a bid on behalf of the whole region," he said.

"The first global sports event in the Middle East provides an opportunity for greater understanding and unity between the Arab and Western worlds and can inspire enthusiastic support from football fans young and old across the entire region."

'Iron will'

He went on to compare Qatar's social and political outlook with the determination of a sportsamn on the field of play.

"The unwavering resolution of the Qatari people and the government – to modernise, to advocate for peace, to build for the future – is like the iron will of an athlete in pursuit of victory," he said.

"Qatar is a land of action and not just promises.

"It's what makes us the ideal partner to help Fifa establish with certainty that football, and its virtues, is a tool with which a better future can be built."

The tiny Gulf State has previously hosted the 2006 Asian Games, will host the Asian Cup in 2011 and is promising "the most state-of-the-art, financially robust and hospitable Fifa World Cup in history."

Qatar and South Korea are the only countries so far bidding exclusively for the 2022 World Cup, although there are nine countries bidding for either the 2018 or 2022 tournaments, with England launching their bid for 2018 on Monday at Wembley Stadium.

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