Qatar 2022 chief says 'no reason' to move World Cup

Hassan al-Thawadi hits back at critics; says Qatar is the right place to hold tournament
Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee.
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 13 Sep 2013 11:40 AM

Qatar is delivering on all its World Cup 2022 promises and there is no reason to move the tournament to another country, the head of the organising committee has said.

In a radio interview with the BBC, Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, hit back at recent calls by European critics that FIFA should rethink plans to hold the World Cup in the Gulf state.

Governing body FIFA is expected to move the tournament to winter to avoid Qatar's high summer temperatures.

Other prominent figures involved in the top leagues in Europe have also suggested that the tournament might have to move location if a suitable time to play in Qatar could not be agreed.

But al-Thawadi told the BBC there is "no reason" why Qatar should not host the event.

"We've worked very, very hard to ensure we're within the rules of the bidding, within the rules of the hosting agreement," he told BBC Sport.

"At the same time we're delivering on all the promises that we've made. We're working very hard to deliver it. The commitment is there."

"[Qatar] is the right place, the Middle East is the right place," added al-Thawadi. "We are representing the Middle East, it is a Middle Eastern World Cup, so it is the right place. The Middle East deserves to host a major tournament."

Earlier this week, FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted that a mistake may have been made when the 2022 World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010.

In an interview published on Monday, Blatter defended his decision that the tournament should be played in the winter when it is held in the Gulf state.

Asked whether FIFA already knew that a summer World Cup would be impossible when it awarded the tournament on December 10 2010, Blatter said: "That may well be so, and it may well be that we made a mistake at the time. On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities."

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