First Published: 2017-11-20

Qatar 2022 chief has no regrets over hosting World Cup
Thawadi says will never regret bidding for tournament despite abuse from critics over human rights, labour treatment since being controversially voted as host.
Middle East Online

"Anything of value will never come easy"

DOHA - Qatar's most senior World Cup official said Monday there were no regrets in bidding for the 2022 tournament, despite the "abuse" it claims it has received since being chosen as host.

Speaking at a press conference to mark the eve of the five-year anniversary before the tournament starts, Hassan Al Thawadi said Qatar was right to bid for football's premier tournament.

"It will always be worth it, it will always continue being worth it," said Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

"We suffered abuse. Did we ever regret it? No, we will never regret it.

He added: "Anything of value will never come easy."

Since controversially being chosen by FIFA to host the tournament in 2022, Qatar has found itself at the centre of a global storm.

It has been criticised over human rights and labour abuses and blighted by allegations of corruption.

Most recently it has found itself accused of supporting terrorism as part of a bitter dispute involving Doha and its Arabian Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, as well as Egypt.

The crisis, which threatens to destabilise the region, has seen Qatar politically and economically boycotted by those countries over its alleged support for extremist groups and relations with Iran. Qatar denies the charges.

The World Cup in Qatar starts on November 21, 2022.

Referring to the current crisis in the Gulf, Thawadi pleaded with those countries currently in dispute with Qatar to allow their fans to travel.

"We hope that the blockading nations see reason in this matter and allow for their people to be able to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said.

Qatar is expecting some 1.5 million fans during the tournament, the majority from the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.

 

Regime strikes in Syria enclave despite ceasefire call

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Egypt presidential race starts with Sisi likely to win

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Blatter supports Morocco bid for 2026 World Cup

More strikes hit E. Ghouta as UN delays truce vote

Turkey says US embassy Jerusalem opening in May 'extremely worrying'

Lebanon says both suspects in Kuwait murder of Filipina maid held

38 dead in Mogadishu car bombings

Morocco police arrests prominent newspaper publisher

Syria regime continues to pound Ghouta as world stutters

UN rights commission wants S.Sudan war crimes charges

Iran grounds airline's ATR planes after crash

Turkey summons Dutch diplomat over Armenian 'genocide' vote

Turkey navy threatens to engage Italian drillship near Cyprus

Iran police shoving headscarf protester sparks social media storm

UN Security Council to vote Friday on Syria ceasefire

Dubai says Djibouti illegally seized African port

Dutch parliament recognises 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide

Heavily bombarded Eastern Ghouta awaits UN resolution

Russia says Syria rebels rejected offer to evacuate E. Ghouta

UN diplomats press for Syria ceasefire without Russia veto

Iranian minister’s presence at UN rights meeting angers critics

Iran warns it will leave nuke deal if banks cannot do business

Qatar to plant thousands of trees to ‘beautify’ World Cup venues

Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin

African migrants protest Israeli detention policy

Egypt sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

Israeli handball teams in Qatar spark furious outcry from locals

UN report highlights S.Sudan journalist treatment

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea

African migrants start hunger strike over Israel expulsion

UN chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

Three militiamen killed in Libya car bomb attack

Russia denies ‘groundless’ accusations of role in Ghouta killings

Turkey says whoever helps YPG is 'legitimate target'

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terrorist cell

Turkey urged to end gas standoff with Cyprus