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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Gargash: Qatar's hosting of 2022 World Cup should include rejection of terrorism

In a series of tweets posted on Tuesday, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said Qatar must review its policies.  

The Khalifa International Stadium in Doha is one of the venues for the 2022 World Cup. Matthew Ashton / Getty Images
The Khalifa International Stadium in Doha is one of the venues for the 2022 World Cup. Matthew Ashton / Getty Images

Dr Anwar Gargash has said Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup should include a repudiation of terrorism and extremism.

In a series of tweets posted on Tuesday, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said Qatar must review its policies.

"Hosting World Cup 2022 should not be tainted by support of extremist individuals [and] orgs/terrorist figures," he tweeted.

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut travel, trade and diplomatic links with the country on June 5 over concerns that Qatar is funding terrorism.

Dr Gargash added that if this review was done only for the sake of the quartet, then it was not sufficient and there must be an international commitment from the country.

The intervention comes after a report warned that there was a real possibility that Qatar may not host the tournament at all. Published by management consultants Cornerstone Global, Qatar in focus: Is the Fifa World Cup 2022 in danger? stated that many western diplomats had privately expressed their doubts about Qatar hosting the tournament.

"The reasons for this are many and include open allegations of corruption — both in the bidding process and in the infrastructure development," the report said.

"Given the current political situation … it is certainly possible that the tournament will not be held in Qatar. Any cancellation of Qatar hosting the World Cup 2022 will likely be abrupt and will leave contractors involved in a precarious situation that may not be easily resolved."

Qatar then accused the authors of being linked to the quartet but this was rejected by Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Cornerstone Global and a visiting fellow at King's College, London.

Ever since Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup in December 2010, it has been dogged by controversy - from the bid process to workers rights to switching the tournament to the winter.

Just this September, Human Rights Watch said Qatar should act to protect the rights of 800,000 migrant construction labourers.

"The Qatari authorities' failure to put in place the most basic protection from the heat, their decision to ignore recommendations that they investigate worker deaths, and their refusal to release data on these deaths, constitutes a wilful abdication of responsibility," said report author Nicholas McGeehan.

Dr Gargash has previously said that dialogue was the only way forward in ending the crisis but this could only happen when Doha shows an honest desire to come to the table.

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Read more:

Report raises doubts about whether Qatar will be able to host 2022 World Cup

Qatar and Fifa urged to protect 800,000 workers from desert heat

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