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Monday, December 6, 2021

Arab region rallies around Qatar and its right to host 2022 World Cup

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Condemning what it described as a “hateful campaign” against Qatar’s right to host the World Cup in 2022, the Arab League has joined other regional bodies in backing the Gulf country’s bid, amid ongoing controversy at FIFA.

In a statement issued by the general assembly yesterday, the organization of 22 Arab states became the latest group to offer its “full support” to Qatar.

Flag of Arab League in Amman, Jordan
Flag of Arab League in Amman, Jordan

In addition to fielding criticism of its human rights record, the country has been fending off allegations of corruption related to the tournament bid.

Last month, authorities in the US and Switzerland said that Qatar and Russia are both being investigated as part of an extensive probe into the legality of their bidding for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022.

Taking issue with the accusations, the Cairo-based Arab League said, as quoted by AFP:

“The Arab League endorses the resolution issued by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) condemning the hateful campaign that attempts to question Qatar’s right to host the 2022 World Cup.”

Last week, the OIC, an organization of Muslim nations, said it stood behind Qatar and criticized “Western media tendentious campaigns” against the Gulf state, Reuters reported.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) stresses its support to the State of Qatar and to all that would ensure its success in hosting the World Cup, as well as to its efforts towards optimal preparations for the event.

It applauds the level of progress reached in the preparations and welcomes Qatar’s continued preparations to host the 2022 World Cup,” the statement said.

Representing 57 countries with a total population of 1.5 billion people, the OIC is the world’s second-largest intergovernmental organization after the UN.

The organization added that it supported Qatar’s position as the first Arab country to host such a global sporting tournament, QNA said.

Media scrutiny

Qatar has been the focus of a number of articles in international media in recent years that have called into question its bidding process for the World Cup.

Last month, it came under the spotlight again after US prosecutors indicted 14 senior administrators and business figures, including FIFA officials, over alleged bribery and corruption in the sport. Swiss officials said they were also opening investigations.

Qatar has maintained it fought a clean campaign and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Qatar foreign minister Dr. Khalid Al Attiyah
Qatar foreign minister Dr. Khalid Al Attiyah

Earlier this month, the state’s Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah and the former Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani both asserted in separate media interviews that they believed Qatar was at the center of a “racist” campaign.

In addition to allegations of corruption, Qatar has also been criticized by international human rights groups about the treatment of construction workers here and scrutinized for its sponsorship/kafala system.

In a bid to counter critics, GCC Information Ministers issued a directive earlier this month calling on all journalists in the region to show their “full solidarity” to Qatar by publishing stories that support the country’s right to host the international football tournament.

While this was criticized by advocates of media freedom as an attempt to control the tone of coverage by governments, others supported the stand as a necessary move to balance the international news narrative and bolster the country’s reputation.

Thoughts?

19 COMMENTS

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Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

Well, they’ve very clearly nailed their colours to the wall. Depending on what comes out in court it may be a something that they will one day regret – only time will tell.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

“Last week, the OIC, an organization of Muslim nations, said it stood behind Qatar and criticized “Western media tendentious campaigns” against the Gulf state”

Really? First I’ve heard that the FBI and the Swiss Police are part of western media. It seems they have some evidence to pursue allegations of wrong doing. Nothing has been proven yet apart from in the case of Chuck Blazer but it seems pretty much every WC bid since 1998 was bent as those were the FIFA rules you had to play by. It would not take a stretch of the imagination that 18 and 22 played by the same rules. At the very least it seems we have illegal vote trading between Spain and Qatar.

The story still has a long way to run, so lets see what happens when these cases go to court and the defendents start singing like canaries to save their own skin.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Don’t forget the International Labour Organization (ILO).

It may claim to be a part of the United Nations, and it may well have won the 1969 Nobel Peace Prize, but actually when it found that Qatar Airways was in breach of a 57-year-old convention against discrimination at work, which has been ratified by 172 countries, it was really just part of the Western Media.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Wow, now let us hear what the Arab league and the OIC have to say to that. If only this two organizations could devote more attention to the work they were established to do rather then meddle and waste time over things they cannot justify

Akmal farah
Akmal farah
6 years ago

But how can they question these investigations that involve interpol, fbi, swiss government, major banks, people who are confessing?

With all respects to Arab leaders, it is very strange to claim foul at this point. Any wise person would want to see what the investigations yield to. Remember there will be proofs and confessions…This ain’t no jungle, money has a trail…

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Akmal farah

Come on be nice, its not often the Arab League agrees on anything, normally the members are too busy killing each other in the name of peace.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago
Reply to  Akmal farah

The Arab league is used as and when needed for their own petty ends and benefits. It was nowhere around to sort the crisis or safeguard the Arab people in countries like Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc. Just wondering if this Arab league members have heard about the abuses that the ILO and others have been talking about or are they aware of organizations tryying to improve the plight of workers

Akmal farah
Akmal farah
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

I totally agree. How gracious and honorable would it be if Qatar proposes funding the 2022 to take place in Palestine in an effort to truly implement peace. Maybe football is what can bring Jews and Arabs to cooperate and live in harmony.

It is astonishing that leaders call investigations of that scale “racist”, especially that Qatar itself is under the spotlight for racism and corruption and modern slavery. I know there are many ways to look at these claims, but all what matters now is that an international investigation is taking place.

Sane leaders should respect that and accept it and vouch to support its efforts.

Simon
Simon
6 years ago

Never mind the evidence – blood is thicker than water.

I find such overt and obvious racism most disturbing.

AFT
AFT
6 years ago

I have heard that usually in legal cases here, the accused is presumed guilty until proven innocent. It is the burden of the accused that the accusation against him is false.
Thus the Arab league can do their counter media efforts in support of hosting the games here. But the real issue here is what is the truth…
Let us allow the truth to be out. If there is no wrong doing in the part of the host countries Russia and Qatar, then there should be no cause for alarm. As of now there is just media coverage,, but if it be that the allegation is proven or discovered to to be true then what can media do, in spite of the Arab League declaration. Let us first say the accused are not guilty of corruption, there is an other party aside from FiFA, who received if ever and from whom.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  AFT

But it isn’t ‘just’ media coverage- the Swiss authorities themselves have said that there are 122 suspicious bank transactions and another 53 they consider to be money laundering all related to 2018 and 2022. Yes, no one has been convicted (yet), but we are far far past the stage of saying ‘it is media only’.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

No, we aren’t past the stage of ” saying ‘it is media only’ “. They will be saying it, and saying it, and saying it, and saying it, everyday until all claims are disproved or until FIFA moves 2022. (And even if the claims are proven to be true, they will continue to say that they are false, and black is white and the sky is green, until they are blue in the face.)

This is one of those ‘say it enough and people will believe that it’s true’ scenarios.

Rane de Beer
Rane de Beer
6 years ago

I think Qatar doth protest too much. I really don’t see any serious ‘campaign’ or conspiracy (when all else fails) against the country. By the time these investigations lead to any convictions and have gone to the highest courts possible, it will be way too late to stop Qatar hosting 2022. And only then would any wrongdoing in terms of Qatar’s bid, if it exists, come to the fore. Having said that: 2022 is Qatar’s ‘coming out party’ to the world to showcase the country we built since 1990. Part of being part of the global world, is supporting freedom of expression and accepting a media spotlight, even if sections of these ‘campaign’ against you. Just deal with it. And spend more energy on fixing things that are obviously wrong.

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago
Reply to  Rane de Beer

… and dont forget, pulling the world cup 2022 if Qatar is found to be guilty is ‘racist’…. that was a pathetic comment already made by Qatar’s authorities, which is already a) quite telling and b) they should be ashamed of

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Rane de Beer

Agree with everything except the ‘too late to pull’ part. FIFA can pull it at anytime if they feel there was enough corruption, and if that is what is necessary to save themselves, then they will in a heartbeat.

Misty Blue
Misty Blue
6 years ago

I’m surprised that a sovereign nation feels the need to hide in a crowd for safety in a see through attempt to turn it into a Muslim/ Arab ” us versus them” scenario. None of the GCC, Arab League or other states were associated with the bid.
Sorry Qatar, you made your bed now lie in it. Alone.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

The facts and the truth speaks for itself. FIFA and its leaders including the tyrant Sepp Blatter have been found to be corrupt to the core and the beautiful game of Football has been allowed to be bribed and bought by this corrupt gang of FIFA and its cohorts

KK
KK
6 years ago

yes, let’s ‘use’ fellow states conveniently as a cover-up.

fluideMains
fluideMains
6 years ago

This sham country has no right to host the games. It has bribed and bought its way to the ‘right’ to hold the games. It does the same in UK and France. I want it = I give you lots of money for it.
Of course, next to no qataris will be responsible for the actual hard work going in to putting on such a spectacle. This is outsourced to countries for low cost labour where these poor souls are treated like something you’d step in on a Paris sidewalk.

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