x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE official: Qatar World Cup will go on as planned

Fifa will "close all files" on scandals engulfing the organisation and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will go on as planned says Dr Saleem bin Suroor al Shamsi

Fifa will soon "close all files" on the scandals engulfing the organisation and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will go on as planned, predicted Dr Saleem bin Suroor al Shamsi, the director of the Football Association.

He said he is certain that once Sepp Blatter is confirmed as Fifa president tomorrow, the allegations of corruption will go away because too many top-ranking officials are involved and to carry on with an investigation could destroy football's governing body.

"It is my opinion that all the files will be closed on Wednesday," said al Shamsi, an experienced football administrator who has worked closely with Fifa during the past two Club World Cup championships in the UAE. "Blatter will be elected president and I don't believe any of these files will remain open after that.

"Fifa do not want this to go on any longer because it could destroy them. There are too many people in top positions at risk. If these files remain open then a lot of people in Fifa would be destroyed.

"Let me ask you this: if your name was going to be in a file, would you want it to remain open or closed?

"Jack Warner said something about a tsunami hitting Fifa, but I don't think so. This has been a bad time for Fifa and they will want to bring it to an end. From all my experience of how football works, this is what I can see happening. If a tsunami was released then it would affect a lot of people and that won't be allowed to happen.

"I don't think any of this will affect either the Russian or Qatar World Cups. From my point of view, they will go ahead as planned."

No matter what happens over the next few days and weeks, the 75-year-old Blatter will be Fifa president for four more years as he will be unopposed in tomorrow's election.

ncameron@thenational.ae