Alwaght- Qatar has slammed attempt by rival Saudi-led regimes to take the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosting rights away from the Persian Gulf state.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on 22nd June this year cut off ties from Qatar and blockaded the state, accusing it of supporting terrorism and sowing discord in the region. Now they are trying to put pressure on Qatar’s hosting the 2022 World Cup, demanding that if Qatar give up the tournament – an unlikely scenario – they would lift their sanctions.
But Qatar insisted on Wednesday that there was absolutely no prospect of that happening, and denounced their rivals as trying to undermine not just the tournament but Qatari sovereignty. A statement from the Qatari government communications office said that the boycott was “founded on petty jealousy, not real concerns”.
“Their weak attempts to tie the hosting of the 2022 World Cup to their illegal blockade show their desperation to justify their inhumane action,” the official said. “There has never been a legitimate reason for the illegal blockade of Qatar, and this is further proof of that.”
“This demand is a clear attempt to undermine our independence,” the official continued. “The World Cup, like our sovereignty, is not up for discussion or negotiation.”
The statement also urged Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to rally behind the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us all” and stop the blockade.
“We've always taken the simple position that sport is elevated from conflict and that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be a platform to bring people together, separate from any political ideology,” the statement said.
“We also see the tournament as a powerful tool for Qatar and the region to counter extremism and reject terrorism,” it pointed out.
Qatari authorities say their efforts at building sports facilities and infrastructure for the 2022 FIFA World Cup remain on track.
“Even today, when we are faced with the current illegal blockade, we stand resolute that everybody will be welcome when the first ball is kicked on November 21, 2022,” Qatar's World Cup supreme committee said.