FIFA has said that it is monitoring the dispute between Qatar and some fellow Arab countries to ensure it does not affect preparations for 2022 World Cup.
The world football governing body has expressed concern about the diplomatic dispute among the gulf states and said it is ‘in regular contact’ with the organisers of the World Cup billed for 2022.
A group of Arab nations comprising Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen announced severance of ties with Qatar on Monday.
The press agency of Saudi Arabia issued a statement accusing their neighbours of “harbouring a multitude of terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to create instability in the region.”
Borders have been closed between the countries and air and sea traffic has been suspended.
Qatar has called the decision “unjustified”.
A statement from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign affairs read: “Qatar expressed deep regret over the decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain to close their borders and airspace and cut off diplomatic relations. Such measures are unjustified and are based on baseless and unfounded allegations.
“Qatar has been exposed to an instigation campaign based on allegations that amounted to absolute fabrications, which proves that there are premeditated intentions to cause damage to the state.”
Concerns have been raised that the measures could impact the construction of the venues and infrastructure for the 2022 finals – due to be hosted by Qatar.
In response to the concerns, a FIFA spokesperson told Omnisport: “FIFA is in regular contact 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.”
A total of eight new venues are being built for the competition in five years’ time.
New metro and roadway projects are also in place to improve transport links in Qatar for the tournament.
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