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  Middle East & Africa
6 Arab Nations Ask FIFA to Replace Qatar as 2022 World Cup Host
By Marcelle Geroux
London Correspondent
Saudi Arabia and five other Arab countries in a letter asked FIFA to replace Qatar as 2022 World Cup Host, calling the country as a "base of terrorism" threatening the tournament’s security.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino told "The Local" that Saudi Arabia and five other Arab courtiers in a letter asked FIFA to cancel the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup bid as the country is the "supporter of terrorism."

In the report of "The Local," a news portal in Europe, Infantino said that Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, UAE, Bahrein, and Egypt pointed out Qatar’s black record on terrorism, asking FIFA to cancel "the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup bid" based on FIFA's Article 85 stipulating the cancellation of the World Cup host in case of any emergency.

According to Infantino, the head of the world football's governing body, the countries have indicated that if FIFA opposes their request they will send a letter to the member countries asking to hold an opinion poll to make a decision on the matter.

In response to our correspondent question on FIFA’s acceptance or rejection, Infantino emphasized on the possibility of accepting this request saying: “FIFA’s mechanisms and regulations are crystal clear, in this case we should look forward to see what will happen on FIFA’s next meeting.”

As Infantino pointed out the replacement of the Word Cup hosting as it is not unprecedented event as FIFA chose Mexico to host the 13th World Cup as it originally scheduled to be held in Colombia on 1986.

Infantino also went on to say "the above mentioned countries warned FIFA of the risks threatening fans and football player’s security in a country that is “the base and the castle of Terrorism.”

He also mentioned the harsh language they used in the letter. They threatened to boycott the Word Cup if FIFA does not respond positively to their request.

It is worth saying that the prospect of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup has been plunged into the most serious doubt after the country’s neighbors broke off diplomatic relations and blockaded its borders.

In a culmination of hostilities simmering for years and accusations that Qatar is a major funder of terrorist organizations.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have closed the only land route into the tiny peninsula and refused to allow use of their sea ports or airspace.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's football championship contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar in 2022.

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Marcelle Geroux, a French journalist and translator, serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. Her stories has been published on various news media including Almasdar News, Daily Sabah, and Scoop News. She is working on PhD degree in international relations in London now. A multi-lingual she speaks several foreign languages including English, Russian, and Arabic.






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