Qatar status as 2022 World Cup host under threat — report

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BERLIN — With the World Cup Football 2018 all set to be held in Russia, cloud still hangs over the hosting of the 2022 edition in Qatar, a report in a German magazine Focus suggested. The report stated that according to information, FIFA is going to reconsider the matter and take an appropriate decision at the end of next summer.
Issues of vote buying and other scandals had seemingly dogged the election of these two hosts and the continuing clamor saw FIFA recently instituting changes in future selection of World Cup hosts.
FIFA has changed the procedure and in future, FIFA has said that election of World Cup hosts will be done by voting from all the 211 FIFA member countries.
Previously 24 members had voted to elect Russia and Qatar as 2018 and 2022 hosts respectively. But talks of irregularities began soon after the vote and in order to bring about integrity in the selection process FIFA has instituted changes.
Talks in the sports circles have abounded that Qatar would not be ready to host the World Cup and there’s a threat that Qatar’s status as host of the World Cup might be withdrawn. Such talk has been circulating a lot due to the conflict in the region. Especially after the quartet — the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt — boycotted Qatar since last summer.
According to the talk in the sports circles, Qatar will lose the right to transmit 2018 World Cup matches from Russia. Not only this, but there are reports that the World Cup 2022 would be hosted by the USA or England.
As to FIFA, it will take a decision in the summer. This is due to the existence of proofs that the Gulf country purchased votes.
While announcing the draw of the participating groups in World Cup 2018, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “With all regret, there is a bad past. We must learn from that and focus on the future. And now we will organize an incomparable World Cup championship in Russia. The same is for Qatar in 2022.”
Qatar has been criticized sharply since September 2010. An investigation was conducted earlier for a whole month by former chairman of the Ethics Committee Michael Garcia. The probe highlighted lots of suspicious details, but the committee failed to prove corruption of vote buying. Qatar and Russia have always denied any undue influence on the election. —SG

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