After Egypt, UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia cut ties with Qatar on Monday under accusations of "supporting regional terror groups," FIFA released a statement to address the matter. It is the latest potential black eye on the host country of the 2022 World Cup. Here's everything you need to know in relation to the news and what it means for the World Cup.
From CBS News and the Associated Press:
Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries severed ties to Qatar on Monday and moved to cut off land, sea and air routes to the energy-rich nation that is home to a major U.S. military base, accusing it of supporting regional terror groups.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates made no demands of Qatar as their decision plunged the international travel hub into chaos and ignited the biggest diplomatic crisis in the Gulf since the 1991 war against Iraq.
What does this have to do with soccer?
Qatar is hosting the 2022 World Cup, a bid they won under much controversy and which has faced much scrutiny. And while these are just accusations, if there is proof that the country is supporting terror groups this could become much more than a sporting issue.
With the amount of tourists that would fly to Qatar to attend the World Cup in five year's time, even just the accusations cause significant damage to the overall appeal of attending the tournament. Furthermore, if there is a link discovered, it would certainly seem like the country's rights to host the cup would be in jeopardy, logically.
What did FIFA say?
FIFA issued a brief statement on Monday saying it spoke with "the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup."
"We have no further comments for the time being," FIFA added.
What other issues is the Qatar World Cup facing?
There are many. There have been much more. This one is just as serious as all and potentially could be the most actionable item when it comes to withdrawing the World Cup from Qatar., and
This is a bit unclear at this point. Alleging ties to terror is massive and there are very significant geo-political consequences in play. We must remember, nothing has been proved just yet, so what evidence there may be remains to be seen. But if something does come from this, FIFA will be in a tough spot and Qatar could very well lose its spot as host of the World Cup.
Think back to 1986, when Colombia lost the right to host the World Cup due to economic concerns. A potential connection with terror is certainly much more severe, and it could force FIFA to make a really tough decision.