Doha, October 12: Qatar on Thursday severely criticized Arab quartet of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for questioning Doha's hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, saying that the tournament is not up for discussion or negotiation.
Notably, Qatar's Government Communications Office in a statement said that the attempt by Emirati officials to link the games to the dispute shows that the boycott "is founded on petty jealousy, not real concerns." "This demand is a clear attempt to undermine our independence. The World Cup, like our sovereignty, is not up for discussion or negotiation," the statement added.
The committee in a statement said, "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." "We also see the tournament as a powerful tool for Qatar and the region to counter extremism and reject terrorism," the statement noted.
Importantly, the statement from Qatar came after UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash on Wednesday said that Qatar should not host the 2022 World Cup unless it changes its policies “supporting extremism and terrorism.
Arab quartet including Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have cut off ties with Qatar and blockaded the state, accusing it of supporting terrorism and sowing discord in the region. Now Arab quartet is trying to put pressure on Qatar’s hosting the 2022 World Cup, demanding that if Doha gives up the tournament then they would lift their sanctions.
Importantly, in the month of June this year, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and several other nations cut ties with Qatar and imposed stringent economic sanctions on it over supporting extremism. On the other side, Qatar denied all their allegations saying that they never supported Islamist militants and Shi'ite Iran.
Later, Saudi and its allies issued a 13-point list of demands to end the rift on June 22 and gave Qatar 10 days to comply. However, earlier Qatar rejected to fulfill the demands. The controversial Qatar World Cup will take place Nov. 21-Dec. 18 in 2022.