Home Middle East & Turkey Middle East Qatar won’t let Iran-US tensions disrupt its FIFA World Cup plans

Qatar won’t let Iran-US tensions disrupt its FIFA World Cup plans

Despite a unilateral blockade imposed by the GCC countries and relentless propaganda against the tiny oil rich country, Qatar has managed to convince the FIFA officials that it is “the safest place” to hold the upcoming World Cup.

Qatar

In the latest development, the Federation International Football Association (FIFA) has clarified that it has no security concerns over Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, despite heightened political tension and military action in the Middle East this month. There were speculations the organization will continue to rely on the state of Qatar.

Notably, the British government has warned of “increased tensions in the region” following the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US strike in Iraq on January 3. Two days later, Iran fired 22 ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US and coalition troops.

The FIFA Club World Cup is an international men’s association football competition organized by the FIFA, the sport’s global governing body. It attracts people from across the world to watch the tournament which helps the host country to present its soft image before the world.

The world football’s governing body remains fully committed to the first World Cup to be staged in the Middle East. “There is no reason to be concerned at this stage,” a FIFA spokesperson told international media.

Read more: FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar Approves Minimum Wage Law & Exit Permits

FIFA is in daily contact with World Cup organizers, which includes an assessment of safety and security, and it is not considering any proposal to change the host nation. World Cup organizers maintain Qatar is “one of the safest countries in the world”.

A spokesperson for the Supreme Committee said: “Qatar will host a number of leading football teams this month including Bayern Munich, Zenit St Petersburg, PSV Eindhoven, and Ajax. Qatar hosts winter training camps every year as teams travel to Doha to experience the world-class training facilities on offer and mild temperatures.

Furthermore, “this season’s winter training camp period comes after tens of thousands of fans from across the globe traveled to Doha last month for a safe and successful FIFA Club World Cup and Arabian Gulf Cup. Qatar remains one of the safest countries in the region and the world; with just under three years to go until the FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off we will continue to welcome fans and teams to Qatar.”

Qatar welcomes LGBT Supporters but wants them to Respect Local Culture

Qatar, a country with more than 95% Muslim population and located in the Middle East, has announced to accommodate homosexual couples and transgender fans in the upcoming football world cup in 2022. “I would like to assure any fan, of any gender, (sexual) orientation, religion, race to rest assured that Qatar is one of safest countries in the world – and they’ll all be welcome here,” said the chief executive of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Nasser al-Khater.

Mr. al-Khater was responding to media questions about the position of transgender fans who might want to attend the World Cup but are unclear what legal and human rights protections they will have.

While responding to a question that how Qataris may react to a gay couple holding hands, Al-Khater insisted they would not be treated any differently from any other couple or individual. “I will put it another way: a public display of affection is frowned upon,” he added. “It’s not part of our culture. But that goes across the board to everybody.” It is worth noting that LGBT issues are like in other Gulf countries sensitive in Qatar.

Read more: FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar Welcomes LGBT Supporters

A website that carried out a story in 2016 by an anonymous Qatari author about being gay, later went briefly offline in the emirate. There was a considerable public backlash. Such actions are considered a threat to Islamic culture and Qatari values being practiced by the majority of the people.

Moreover, there are some reports which claim that a deal is about to be signed which may allow alcohol and other eatables for the foreigners. The Qatari government is also expected to offer subsidy on alcohol.

Al-Khater has acknowledged that the price of the alcohol was high which needed to be reviewed. “We recognize there is an issue with the price and it is something we are looking into. We are looking at finding ways to reduce the price of alcohol,” he said.

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