Insisting they deserve the chance to stage the World Cup, Qatar’s football leaders yesterday hit back at their English counterparts for suggesting that FIFA consider taking the 2022 tournament away from the desert nation.
New English Football Association Chairman Greg Dyke incensed the Qataris by arguing that the heat in the tiny emirate could be “very dangerous” and calling on FIFA to find a new location for the World Cup or anger European leagues by rescheduling it in winter.
Concerns about Qatar’s plans have mounted since its bid surprisingly triumphed in 2010 despite being declared “high risk” by FIFA’s own inspection team, which highlighted the sweltering summer heat in the Persian Gulf where temperatures can hit 50 degrees Celsius.
But the Qataris yesterday insisted that they could deliver football’s biggest event and that the 2010 vote was the “right decision”.
“Football is the most popular sport in the Middle East and the people of our region deserve the opportunity to have history made in their part of the world,” the Qatar World Cup supreme committee said in a statement.
“We are committed to delivering on the promises we made in our successful bid. We are ready to host in summer or winter,” it added.