Qatar again defends FIFA World Cup bid

Qatar 2022 committee official says it followed 'highest ethical standards' and reiterates it will host World Cup.

    Organisers of Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 football World Cup have once again denied any wrongdoing in the build-up to the bidding process for the tournament and are confident that it will take place in Middle Eastern country.

    An investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was carried out by FIFA's ethics committee following allegations of bribery and corruption. There have also been calls for Qatar to be stripped of the hosting rights in wake of those allegations.

    "We are not worried, we are confident that the World Cup will take place in Qatar," Nasser Al Khater, Qatar 2022 Communications Director, told Al Jazeera.

    "Qatar is part of the investigation and so is Russia [2018]. The whole process is part of that. It's unfortunate that people single out Qatar every time they discuss it.

    "We have held ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We believe in it, we are confident of it and we are confident of how we have behaved."

    Britain's Sunday Times reported last month that some of the "millions of documents" it had seen linked payments by former FIFA executive committee member, Mohamed Bin Hammam, a Qatari, to officials in order to win backing for the 2022 World Cup bid.

    Khater, though, reiterated the stance that Bin Hammam was not representing the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee.

    "He was an executive committee member like the rest of the 23 executive committee members that were present at the time. We had to engage with him, as we had to engage with everybody else. He was not part of our bid.  Did he represent us?  Not at all."

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter has previously labelled the criticism against Qatar as "racist".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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