By Staff writer
Instruction made after allegations Qatar paid bribes to secure hosting rights
GCC information minsters have instructed all regional media to support the Qatar 2022 World Cup, following of allegations of corruption in winning the bid.
In a statement issued on the official government Qatar News Agency, the GCC ministers said they were issuing the instruction following their 23rd meeting held in Doha.
"GCC information ministers renewed their call for the media to counter all those who seek to question the right of the State of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, stressing GCC states full solidarity with the State of Qatar and encouraged media in the GCC to continue countering these campaigns at home and abroad,” the statement read.
It added: “The Ministers agreed that the State of Qatar, in coordination with the General Secretariat, is to develop a strategic vision for the joint media moves to counter such campaigns to reflect the international dimension of media discourse to show the right of GCC state, represented by the State of Qatar, to organize this important event.”
The statement added that all forms of GCC media, including radio, print, TV, news agencies and electronic media, were to be “briefed on the role they can play in this area.”
There have been growing international calls for 2022 bidding process to be re-run, following the arrest on corruption charges of a number of FIFA executives. The FBI is currently investigating claims that both Russia and Qatar paid bribes to secure the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Both countries have denied wrong doing.
The statement from the GCC ministers did not say whether any media would be penalised for not supporting Qatar 2022.
I hope any credible media in the region will resist this attempt to intimidate their news coverage of this issue. Once they agree to this demand where does it stop? Also if irrefutable evidence comes to light from the current investigations that proves Qatar was guilty, which is not yet proven, of buying votes to win the hosting on the 2022 World Cup any media who have succumbed to these demands will have their reputations shredded. The situation is now also likely to be way beyond any influence GCC media is likely to have on the outcome.
It would be interesting to hear what Arabian Business's position is on this demand.