FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser al-Khater has denounced allegations by the Western media about the tournament organisers using expatriate fans to attend matches in exchange for money, as part of the systematic smear campaigns that have increased recently before the start of the most prominent sporting event in the world.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), al-Khater said some of the reports published by English and French newspapers about hiring migrant workers to pose as fans to attend matches are completely false, describing these allegations as a new attempt to defame and question the ability of Qatar to host the World Cup.
He added that since Qatar won the honour of hosting the World Cup, there have been continuous attempts over 12 years to defame the tournament, stressing that the country will organise an exceptional tournament, and this will be clear in a few days.
In his statement to QNA, al-Khater affirmed his rejection of the belittlement of a group of people living in Qatar, some of whom have lived in Qatar for more than 30 years. He said it is shameful to belittle those fans who will watch World Cup matches and describe them as paid workers for a World Cup that has sold 3.1mn tickets so far, stressing that residents of Qatar are very passionate about football.
Al-Khater sent a message to all residents of Qatar, stating that the World Cup is everyone's tournament and represents Qatar and its people, citizens and residents, as well as the Gulf countries and the entire region.
On Sunday, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will commence as the first edition to be held in the Arab region and the Middle East. Qatar's national team will begin the tournament by facing Ecuador in the opening match at Al Bayt Stadium.
Campaigns involving fabrications have crossed all limits in an attempt to undermine Qatar and question its capabilities and the efforts it has made over the years to host the World Cup in an Arab and Muslim country for the first time.
The fabrications, allegations and malicious campaigns against Qatar have recently taken a different turn by adopting a systematic racist discourse that incites hatred and aims to offend the State without real justifications. What the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is exposed to amounts to intellectual and media terrorism and a psychological warfare based on racist pretexts from some parties that do not like the realisation of Arab generations' dream to organise the tournament in Qatar.
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