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.

Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee.

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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Posted by: Patrick Castillo

A boastful country is what Qatar is. They couldn't even finish their delayed Hamad International Airport.

Posted by: King Kong

You don?t deserve a World Cup, Qatar.

If you really can host a summer world cup, why you needed to have an arrangement (secret deal) with the UEFA head before the 2010 final bidding process that this UEFA head would change the time to winter after Qatar?s winning? Why there should be such a deal if it is possible to hold a summer world cup in Qatar?

Posted by: Hello Sailor


I am guessing you are either new to Qatar or don't live there.

It took Qatar 7 years to build the Hilton, 6 years to build the St Regis (the largest hotel at 366 Rooms) 6 Years to build the City center Intercontinental.

My point being that they need over 199 Hotels of the size of the St Regis just to house FIFA accredited people. That includes 32 5 star hotels, once for each team, although smaller teams might share a hotel.

Then you have the fan accommodation, if you argue that the stadia will hold 40,000 each then in the group stages you will have 120,000 fans looking for a place to stay.

Granted many will fly in and out but those attending a night game won't be.

My contention is this, They simply don't have the time, the expertise or the money to build enough accommodation.

Nothing in Qatar's past points to another conclusion.

Posted by: shaheen

This topic is getting real boring. Qatar is not some undeveloped poor third world country like Burkina Faso, whatever happens they will fight to host the 2022 World Cup. Money talks. And theirs being used to finance the Syrian rebels ( they have their agenda) etc. I really do not think this country will go down without a fight. And people opposed to Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup including myself will have to deal with it. Can we have a new topic to discuss.

Posted by: Abdulaziz

I have been in Doha in the recent years may times and sorry to state that I couldn't really notice any of establishment of the promises made for the FIFA.

Yes there are few ongoing real estate projects, but non is with the standards needed for FIFA nor I think they are related to this event. Adding to that the country has a very bad public transportation including a small TAXI company, how they are expecting people to even commute in heated summer to the events. Alot of fans are from EU and Far East where drinking is part of the joy of the game, and I can only see a move from the Qatari Authority to close more and more drinking pubs.

All in all, I don't even see the value to the Bridge project to Bahrain as a FIFA request or standard. If Qatar wants to hots the event they have to be up to it and not rely on Bahrain [if that was the plan, hope it is not]

Last, I disagree with Mr.Hassan that Qatar represents the World Cup for Middle East, this has no bases.

Posted by: Freaky deaky

Also the bridge is on indefinite hold. It will never be built.

Posted by: Jay

So what are you expecting? a VIP entrance card to the rail projects to believe that they are in progress.

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