The Egyptian Football Association has not sent any requests to FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, demanding that Qatar be stripped of the 2022 World Cup hosting duties.
“I was surprised by the reports. I know nothing about the report that quoted FIFA president Gianni Infantino as saying that Egypt is among six countries that have asked for Qatar to be banned from hosting the 2022 World Cup,” EFA board member Mohamed Abou El-Wafa told an Egyptian TV programme on Sunday.
“The association’s board haven’t even discussed the matter at an official meeting,” Abou El-Wafa insisted.
Some reports said Saturday that Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had collectively written to FIFA asking it to remove Qatar as hosts under Article 85 of the FIFA Code, which allows for such action in emergency cases.
FIFA has rubbished these reports, denying receiving any such letter.
“The FIFA president has never received such a letter and subsequently has not done any comment on that,” said a FIFA spokesman to Reuters.
Despite the denial, Abou El-Wafa opened the door to future official steps regarding the matter.
“I [personally] spoke with some of the EFA board members and they welcomed an official move to request that FIFA strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup,” he added.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting terrorism and of backing Iran. Doha denies the charges.
Qatar, a country with a negligible soccer background or infrastructure, was a controversial winner of the right to host the 2022 event, which will be held in November and December to minimise the impact of the desert state’s harsh climate.
Source: Ahram Online