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FIFA & Qatar in a World Cup row?

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Legal letters believed to relate to contractual issues have arisen before and during the tournament, and will ultimately boil down to a battle, possibly in court, over financial liability.

Are FIFA and the Qatari World Cup organisers headed for a behind-the-scenes confrontation? I understand that the relationship with the Qatari authorities is believed to be at an all-time low, according to the British media.

During the World Cup, FIFA reportedly sent a number of legal letters to Qatar’s Supreme Committee. It is understood the letters focussed on contractual issues that have arisen. For example, Budweiser, FIFA’s official beer sponsor, are owed compensation as a teething boiling point, which has yet to be resolved.

The legal letters are believed to relate to contractual issues that have arisen before and during the tournament, and will ultimately boil down to a battle, possibly in court, over financial liability.

COMPENSATION

Budweiser is owed compensation after the Qatar Supreme Committee dramatically withdrew the sale of alcohol from stadiums 48 hours before the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador, while there are numerous other not-too-pleasant issues that have cropped up involving other World Cup suppliers, Mail Online reported.

The media report added that tension between FIFA and the Supreme Committee was further evident on Thursday in their contrasting responses to reports of the death of a migrant worker at Saudi Arabia’s base camp during the group stages, as revealed by The Athletic. 

Whilst FIFA said they were “deeply saddened by this tragedy” and offered “sympathies and thoughts to the workers family,” the Supreme Committee said the incident took place on property outside their jurisdiction and have passed the matter on to the Qatari government.

DEATH OF WORKER

It is learnt Supreme Committee chief executive Nasser Al Khater even made the extraordinary comment that death was a natural occurrence. 

He said: “Death is a natural part of life, whether it’s at work, whether it’s in your sleep. We’re in the middle of a World Cup. And we have a successful World Cup. And this is something you want to talk about right now?”

Unilad reports that following on from the success of the World Cup, which is currently ongoing at the quarterfinal stages, officials are reportedly already thinking about a bid for the 2036 Olympic Games.

While no time-frame has yet been announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as to when the winning bid will be announced, it’s reliably thought that Qatar will put itself forward.

If it were successful, it would be the first Muslim country to host the Olympics as they did create a record of sorts in staging the World Cup in the desert, which many thought was close to impossible.

FIFA has so far declined to comment on their legal issues with the Supreme Committee.


Suresh Nair is an award-winning sports journalist who is also a qualified international coach and international referee instructor

 

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