Gulf states rally behind Qatar over World Cup bribery claims

Gulf Cooperation Council chief attacks 'biased media campaign'; says Qatar won its bid through 'honest competition'

Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council. (AFP/Getty Images)

Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council. (AFP/Getty Images)

Gulf states rallied behind Qatar following allegations published by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that a senior Qatari football official made payments to win the country's bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar has vehemently denied the accusations and Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani of the Gulf Cooperation Council - which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman - attacked what he called a "biased media campaign".

"The Secretary General affirmed the GCC's ... complete support in the face of all doubters and haters and everyone who is attempting to lessen (Qatar's) right to host this historic global sporting event," the GCC statement said on Sunday.

Qatar won its bid through "honest competition," he said.

If corruption was proved, Qatar could be stripped of the Cup, or at least face a challenge to its position as host either through a re-vote or other processes.

The World Cup has never been held in the Middle East before.

Qatar on Saturday defended its campaign and rejected the corruption allegations which it said were timed to coincide with an investigation by FIFA, world soccer's governing body, into the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup and the one before it in Russia in 2018.

The GCC statement will provide welcome support for Qatar. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew envoys from their neighbour in March over its backing of the Muslim Brotherhood in the region.

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Posted by: procan

First sign of weakness. circle the wagons { caravan } .Its over Qatar.

Posted by: Paul

The bad reputation in terms of human rights for laborer, domestic helpers and taxi drivers and the lack of a dignifying and decent labor law with maximum number of hours per week, 1 month annual leave and a compulsory weekend to all human beings, are common abuses in all GCC countries. That is why GCC do not see any issue on the labor situation in Qatar.
As for the corruption, how can one be so sure that it didnt take place in a country like Qatar?
The whole world knows what happened and what is happening. Be dishonest (you will pay for that) but don?t try to full the entire world.

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