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Qatar UAE Official Urges Qatar to Abandon World Cup

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Oct , 10 \NewNews

A top Emirati security official says the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and a Saudi-led bloc of Arab countries can end if Doha gives up hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

This photo taken on September 16, 2015, shows construction work at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. (Via Reuters)

Dubai security chief Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan on social networking website Twitter urged Qatar to abandon hosting the upcoming FIFA tournament.

“If the World Cup goes out of Qatar, the crisis in Qatar will end because the crisis was made to break it,” Khalfan said on Sunday night.

“The cost to return is more than what the al-Hamdeen have planned for,” the official added, likely referring to Qatar’s former ruling emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and former foreign minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani.

Both still wield influence within Qatar’s current government now ruled by the former emir’s son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Khalfan later wrote that Qatar “is no longer our concern.”

This is the first time someone from the four Arab countries boycotting Qatar has directly linked the tournament to resolving the months-long dispute.

As the crisis has dragged on despite mediation by several nations, Qatar’s opponents have begun targeting its hosting of the FIFA cup.

They have pointed to allegations of corruption surrounding Qatar’s winning bid, as well as the conditions that laborers working in the Persian Gulf state face in building infrastructure for the games.

While FIFA ethics investigators found that the Qataris used a full range of lavishly funded state agencies to win the 2010 vote to host the tournament, authorities concluded there was no “evidence of any improper activity by the bid team.”

Senior Qatari officials have yet to respond to remarks by the Emirati official.

However, the 2022 tournament’s head in Qatar said on Friday that the boycott posed “no risk” to the competition being held.

Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary general of Qatar’s World Cup Supreme Committee, said the project remained on time.

“There might have been some minimal increase in terms of establishing alternative supply chains but these have been absorbed very, very quickly and been normalized as these supply chains have been put in place,” he said.

The dispute over Qatar started on June 5, when Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed diplomatic relations with Doha and imposed a partial siege on it.

The quartet of Arab countries justified their hostile actions by accusing Qatar of backing terrorist elements. Doha, however, denied the accusation, saying it was being targeted for political reasons.

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