UAE willing to host 2022 World Cup matches

Football president says country can step in if asked by organisers of Qatar 2022

The UAE would be willing to step in and help Qatar host matches during the FIFA World Cup 2022, according to the head of the UAE Football Association (UFA), but only if the sport’s world governing body green lights the idea.

Tiny Gulf state Qatar won the rights to host the prestigious tournament in controversial circumstances in a 2010 vote and plans to spend up to $115bn on developing infrastructure over the next decade in preparation, including 12 state-of-the-art air conditioned stadiums.

Yousuf Al Serkal, UFA president and vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), suggested that the UAE would be ready to take responsibility for hosting parts of the World Cup if necessary, following a similar suggestion by UEFA boss Michel Platini.

“We will support them if they need any kind of support at any time, but as far as I know from my experience of the Qatar Football Federation, they are capable, they have the knowledge and the know-how,” he told reporters in Dubai on Monday.

However, he said any decision to change the host country from the tournament must come from FIFA, world football’s top governing body, rather than the Qataris or any other Gulf countries.

“If it’s a different venue in a different country, the decision has to come from FIFA. It will not come from us, or the Qataris. If the Qataris would like us to help... it’s only if they will request, that we are willing to,” Al Serkal added.

The decision to award the event to Qatar also raised eyebrows due to intense heat in the country over summer, when the tournament is held, with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius.

Al Serkal said he supported any proposal to move the World Cup to winter, when weather conditions in Qatar are more temperate.

“The players will not perform their best [over summer], this will impact the image of the game,” he said. “I support, if the decision will be taken, if the event will be played in January. If FIFA decides to change the timing from June to January, it will be a good idea.”

Al Serkal is currently promoting his candidacy to be the next president of the AFC, with elections taking place in June. Rivals for the position include Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa and Saudi Arabia's Hafez Ibrahim Al Medlej.

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Posted by: Ali

Travel within GCC is definitely not "much much cheaper" than within Europe so not sure where you got that from

Posted by: Yoyo

UAE EMARAAT UAEE!! I think that the world cup should have been spread throughout at least 2 or 3 GCC countries excluding Saudi and that is mainly due to the entry visa restrictions. The distance between UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain isn't really that far and travelling in that side of the world is much much cheaper than travelling around Europe. Finally it's not like we get an event such as the World Cup every day in the middle east and for something this big I think it will bring the people even more together.

Posted by: Qatari

And why not only Qatar as FIFA wanted ? I see no reason why Qatar can't host the world cup and no reason why it should be shared.

Posted by: Ahmad Al Ansari

In spite of all noisy babbles Qatar will host the full event.

Posted by: Billy

This is ridiculous. When will people stop thinking about the egos of the various countries desperate to grab some of the limelight that was won by Qatar and start to think of the fans themselves. They are the most important people of this whole event as it is their money and attendance that makes it happen. It will already be very expensive for people to travel to Qatar, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the hotels will have a field day with their room rates - they will certainly not be cheap. But to then expect these same fans to pay further costs to travel to Dubai or wherever to see their team play and then travel back to Qatar to watch the next match is just ludicrous. Don't even mention visa costs and passport control queues - what a nightmare. Can you imagine Dubai and Doha Airports when 30,000 fans all have to travel at the same time to watch a football continue this discussion is just laughable. Get real and leave it to Qatar.

Posted by: moonboy

Can you just imagine the appalling service that the hotels will give when they are full of football fans. They will not be able to deal with the volume of customers and their expectations or demands. it will be an unparalleled disaster.
(if it does actually go ahead in Qatar-my guess is it will go to one of the other loosing bids when more dirt comes out in the laundry)

Posted by: nimby

oh dear.
Nobody talking about moving it away from Qatar or sharing, but others see it that out of adversity comes an opportunity.
Let the lions roar.

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