Nasser al-Khater, assistant general secretary of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar 2022’s organising committee.
Qatar’s World Cup football bosses have not been contacted by Swiss investigators examining corruption claims over the bidding process for the 2022 tournament, a senior official said yesterday.
Nasser al-Khater, the assistant general secretary of Qatar’s 2022 organising committee, replied “no” when asked if the Swiss Office of the Attorney General had been in touch during their now almost five months-long investigation.
The Swiss attorney’s probe, which also covers the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup won by Russia, began in May.
Khater, speaking to journalists in Doha, would not make any further comment on the Swiss investigation but said Qatar’s preparations were nevertheless ploughing ahead for the tournament in seven years’ time.
“Our progress is very, very good,” he said. “I think we are happy with where we are right now.”
He added: “Seven years out from the tournament, I am very comfortable to say that we are in a very, very good place.”
Qatar has begun work on six tournament venues so far and is on course to complete its first stadium by 2016, regardless of controversy elsewhere.
Last month, Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, said the investigation into corruption allegations had not reached “half-time”, but that apartments in the Alps were among assets which had already been seized.
It is running parallel to a US justice department investigation into corruption at football’s world governing body, FIFA.
In the fallout from that, the Swiss attorney general has also opened a criminal investigation against FIFA boss Sepp Blatter.
Khater said Qatar wished to see a “strong, transparent, football governing body”.
He also claimed that organisers are expecting as many as one million football fans to attend the tournament, which will be held in November and December 2022, more than attended the last two finals.
“South Africa was somewhere around 600,000 (fans), Brazil somewhere around 800,000,” he said.
Million fans expected in 2022
“We are estimating, based on Qatar’s geographic location and the easy links of reaching Doha, that the number we are working towards is one million.”
Cruise ships will be used to accommodate some of these fans during the tournament, he confirmed.
Earlier this year it was announced that Qatar aimed to house some 12,000 fans on cruise ships—or “floating hotels”—during the tournament.
FIFA guidelines say Qatar must have 60,000 rooms available for fans by 2022.
Ambitious Qatar though has pledged to make 100,000 rooms available.
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