FIFA president: Qatar is facing 'diplomatic crisis,' but World Cup is not under threat
Gianni Infantino says the tournament is still set to be held in Qatar
Withwhat FIFA president Gianni Infantino described as a "diplomatic crisis," the future of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would seemingly be in doubt. But Infantino discussed the situation this weekend, reconfirming FIFA's stance to have the bid winners host the 2022 tournament. Here's everything you need to know from Infantino's comments:
Egypt, UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia cut ties with Qatar last week under accusations of "supporting regional terror groups." It was the latest potential black eye on the host country of the 2022 World Cup. The concern was, if this indeed was true, how could this nation properly host the world's biggest and most important sporting event?
What did the FIFA president say?
Infantino, speaking to Swiss publication Le Matin Dimanche, was asked whether he thought Qatar was in jeopardy of losing the World Cup. Here's what he said:
"No. In any case, I am not in the habit of speculating and I'm not going to this time either," he said.
"The essential role of FIFA, as I understand it, is to deal with football and not to interfere in geopolitics.
"We are indeed facing a diplomatic crisis."
The FIFA president expects the country to 'return to normal' in time for the cup.
"But on the other hand, I am confident that the region will return to a normalized situation," he said.
Most people feel like Qatar is a ridiculous place to host the World Cup -- especially due to recent accusations of corruption, human rights issues, extreme desert conditions year-round and now allegations of supporting regional terror groups -- but it looks like there won't be any other choice. With a soccer history that rivals Antarctica (I'm kidding, maybe?), it looks like there is no way it gets moved with Infantino reaffirming FIFA's stance. That, on top of all the work and money being spent in preparation for the cup, it looks like we are stuck with our first winter tournament.
The Gunners and Blues fight for a spot in the February final
The Parisians are without Neymar for this one
The new competition begins this year and here's what you should know about it
Real leads 1-0 after the first leg
One of the two will book a spot in next month's final
The Chilean gets a new start and some Champions League soccer this season