INCHEON: President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah vowed to fight ‘till the end’ to keep the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and blamed media ‘racism’ for raising doubts over the event.
“I think Qatar got it fairly and in compliance with the procedures of Fifa, and we shouldn’t take the World Cup away from Qatar because of some negative media opinion,” said the Kuwaiti.
“We will resist until the end and we will fight for the right of Qatar because we think it’s related more to racism than reality.”
The sheikh, speaking at the Asian Games in Incheon, said it was ‘reasonable’ and ‘acceptable’ to hold Qatar’s World Cup in the winters rather than the summers, to avoid extreme temperatures in the Gulf state. But he maintained there were no grounds for stripping Qatar of the World Cup or holding a new election to decide the host country.
“This is the first World Cup in Asia. If they want to do a new election, they have to do it for both Moscow and Doha, because it was [decided] in the same session.”
World governing body Fifa is evaluating a report into the votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments compiled by former US federal prosecutor Michael Garcia and would also look into the British media’s claim that it was widespread bribery, orchestrated by Asia’s ex-football chief and Qatari businessman, Muhammed bin Hammam, which allowed Qatar to win the rights for the 2022 World Cup.