THE Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, believes his country will host the 2022 World Cup despite Fifaâ€™s ongoing investigation into the bidding process and concerns over when the tournament will take place.
Fifaâ€™s ethics chief, Michael Garcia, this week reiterated his call for his report into the 2018 and 2022 bidding processes to be published in full. However in his first interview since succeeding his father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani last year, the Emir dismissed concerns over corruption. â€œPeople should understand that Qatar had the best bid, and Qatar will provide and will do one of the best World Cups in history and Iâ€™m sure about that,â€ he told CNN.
â€œPeople donâ€™t want to accept, donâ€™t want to realise that a small country, Arab, Muslim country, can host a big event like that.â€
A Guardian investigation earlier this year revealed that hundreds of migrant workers have died in Qatar since construction of the World Cup stadia began, with the International Trade Union Confederation estimating 4,000 could be dead by the time the World Cup begins.
â€œYes, itâ€™s true â€“ we had problems,â€ the Emir said. â€œWeâ€™re solving the problems. Weâ€™re enforcing the laws â€“ itâ€™s not acceptable.â€
â€œWe changed the laws. They are enforced and there are many laws that have been changed. And Iâ€™m telling you because I am personally hurt about the situation.
â€œAll the media is concentrating on Qatar due to the World Cup. If we have problems I donâ€™t mind talking about the problems. But also we need to talk other â€“ about other things, about those laws that we did.â€
The playersâ€™ union FifPro and several major European leagues have voiced their concerns at the prospect of the World Cup being played in summer temperatures up to 45C, with Fifa due to decide in February whether to move the tournament to the winter months. However, the Emir insisted that hi-tech air conditioning systems could make it possible to hold the tournament in summer.
He said: â€œWe have this technology for ten years now and itâ€™s working in one of our stadiums. One hundred per cent it will be working.
â€œOur bid was for it to be in summer. At the end, itâ€™s up to Fifa to decide when is the best time. Weâ€™re ready for both.â€ – The Guardian