HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meets with Georgetown University president John J DeGioia in Washington yesterday.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yesterday hit back at corruption allegations levelled towards Qatar’s successful bid for the 2022 World Cup.
Speaking during a visit to Washington, the Emir said allegations of bribery surrounding FIFA’s 2010 decision to award the World Cup to Qatar had never been proven.
“Those allegations, I’d just said, there is a FIFA and they had people investigating and everything they investigated with everybody, all officials in Qatar, and they found out that there is nothing about (that),” the Emir said during a meeting with students at Georgetown University.
“This World Cup is for all the Arabs and that is why we were successful,” the Emir said. “It is a big challenge.”
Qatar won the 2022 tournament after seeing off competition from Japan, South Korea, Australia and the US.
“I know that you guys here were very upset that Qatar, a small country, can beat this great country but I think you should believe that you know you can lose sometimes,” the Emir quipped to laughter from the audience.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said European clubs impacted by the decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in the winter will not get any money as compensation – or for that matter even an apology.
Former German footballer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who now heads the European Clubs’ Association (ECA), and other top officials had hinted that top European clubs would seek financial compensation for any disruption caused to their leagues because of the tournament’s shift from its traditional summer slot, but Valcke red-carded that suggestion, saying there’s still plenty of time for them to get adjusted to the idea.
“There will be no compensation. I mean, they have seven years to reorganise football around the world for this World Cup,” Valcke said in Doha a day after a FIFA task force recommended the winter shift.
“It’s not perfect, we know that - but why are we talking about compensation? It’s happening only once, we’re not destroying football. We are just changing the format of a season,” he added.
Valcke was also asked whether FIFA would offer an apology to the clubs for upsetting their schedules, but the Frenchman dismissed it outright, saying there was no need for one as the clubs benefit from World Cup revenues anyway.
“I don’t think it’s a time for apologies. Why should we apologise to the clubs? We have had an agreement with the clubs that they are part of the beneficiaries. It was $40mn in 2010 and $70mn in 2014.”
The proposed new dates for the event are set to be ratified by FIFA’s executive committee on March 19.
Valcke said the compact world Cup in Qatar would be of immense benefit to the players and the spectators and would have a positive legacy to benefit the community.
“It’s the first time the World Cup will be held in the region. It’s going to be a special and compact World Cup. Teams will be based at one place and there would be no stress of frequent travelling and moving from place to place.” Page 2
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