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So now Qatar's making the conspiracy claims - against Spain?!? A falling out of friends?

If nothing else, Hammam seems to be getting a bit defensive now.

Bin Hammam hits out at 'hidden war' against Qatar

GENEVA — Mohamed Bin Hammam has accused a Spanish newspaper of fabricating an interview with him as part of a "hidden war" against Qatar's bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

Bin Hammam said he'd never heard of sports daily Marca, which reported him saying that Qatar and 2018 candidate Spain-Portugal would support each other's bid.

"Today, you have to deal with the latest series of lies meant to damage your bid," the Qatari official wrote Saturday in a message to supporters published on his website. "The alleged interview never took place."

His outburst revealed rising tension as he and FIFA executive committee colleagues prepare to choose the World Cup hosts in secret ballots in Zurich.

Bin Hammam warned that worse may follow before the 22-man ruling panel votes on Thursday.

"You should expect more of this hidden war against your bid," he wrote. "I did warn you that your noble cause to host the World Cup 2022 will face some unethical resistance."

Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president, also was quoted by Marca saying that "Asia supports the Iberian bid."

On Saturday, Bin Hammam sought to clarify the AFC's position to "repair the damage which might be caused by such deception."

"The Asian executive committee had taken a decision to support Europe in 2018. However, no decision was taken to back any one country," he explained. "We agreed to give the four Asian members the freedom to select the country that they deem appropriate."

Spain-Portugal is competing with England, Russia and the joint Belgium-Netherlands bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Qatar's 2022 campaign was put on the defensive last month after FIFA said it would investigate unnamed bidders for allegedly breaking bid rules by colluding to share support.

FIFA's ethics committee said last week it found insufficient evidence to prove a Qatari-Iberian vote-trading deal. It also suspended two FIFA voters in a wide-ranging corruption probe

The verdicts came one day after FIFA published reports by its technical evaluation team which said Qatar's desert heat in June and July could jeopardize players' and fans' health.

The assessment also raised concerns that Qatar's size posed logistical challenges with 10 out of 12 proposed stadiums grouped within a 30-kilometer (19-mile) radius.

FIFA then published the detailed technical reports in full, which confirmed it graded Qatar as the highest-risk project among all bidders.

"You have managed to overcome with great success the accusations of collusion, the potential postponement of voting for 2022, the so-called challenges of weather, size and so many other things," Bin Hammam wrote to Qatar's supporters.

Qatar is competing for 2022 World Cup rights with the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

AP

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We've also made it out of the knock-out round more recently.

Tony if I see you say England should be given the hosting rights one more time I will throw my computer. This is really getting old pal. There's nothing wrong with Russia hosting in 2018 and 2022 shou

Someone needs to sue FIFA over this mess. Rivals bidders, European leagues and clubs, TV networks, sponsors, players...all are being mucked about because of FIFA's inability to think properly. The bi

So now Qatar's making the conspiracy claims - against Spain?!? A falling out of friends?

If nothing else, Hammam seems to be getting a bit defensive now.

Truth to be told, going by Marcas track record with transfers, I actually tend to believe the official rather than the newspaper in this case...

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Qatar's World Cup victory shows full extent of Fifa's greed

By Duncan White

How would you like a World Cup held in one city? How about if we make that city so hot it constitutes a health risk, say 50 degrees?

Right, what if we air-condition everything, heck have the whole competition indoors? Can we make sure it’s an uncomfortable place for women, gays and Jews too please? No, problem, Fifa have delivered. Welcome to Qatar 2022.

You have to admire the chutzpah – not a word to use at immigration – of Qatar for even bidding for the thing. That they have won it is depressing. In their technical assessment, Qatar was deemed the highest risk. Then the Executive Committee voted for it.

Russia hosting a World Cup in 2018 is a risk. There are huge issues the country needs to tackle, the most serious of which are social rather than those of infrastructure. Qatar, though, does not really have a coherent society to restructure. The country has one city, Doha, which I visited this time last year when England played Brazil in friendly. It is fine if you’ve got money, a high boredom threshold and live in one of the steel and glass skyscrapers that rear out of the desert.

Less nice if you are one of the migrant workers from South Asia who live in grim conditions on the outskirts of town and are bussed in every day to build the things.

Of the 1.7 million people estimated to live in the country only 200,000 are native Qataris. The rest are expats and migrant workers. According to a UN refugee agency report from two years ago the Qatari government “does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so.”

Trying to get a beer after game? You need your passport to access one of the exclusive and extortionate hotel bars. You have to travel everywhere by taxi. Like all the Emirates, it is an ideal playground

for those who like spending money and privacy. Oh and the football team? Qatar didn’t get out of the group stages at the Gulf Cup.

There is no doubt Qatar will come through on the money, there is no doubt that they have had some impressive people pushing their cause. Bringing football to the Middle East is brave, of course, and there is no doubting the generous hospitality of the region (for some guests).

But this is not a new frontier like South Africa was. This is a small wealthy country, many of whose citizens can afford to go an watch a World Cup wherever it is held. The only thing that seemed to be in its favour – aside of course from vast wealth – was that the TV rights will be more lucrative near a European time zone.

In reality, Fifa has long put money ahead of football. Qatar 2022 marks the moment they stopped pretending otherwise.

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I'm so happy that Russia will get the 2018 and Qatar for 2018. I think the three cities for russia will located in Moscow, St.Petersburg, and think Sochi. I wonder what Qatar will choose thier stadiums.

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I'm so happy that Russia will get the 2018 and Qatar for 2018. I think the three cities for russia will located in Moscow, St.Petersburg, and think Sochi. I wonder what Qatar will choose thier stadiums.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_FIFA_World_Cup#Venues

Doha, final is in Lusail(86,000).

All stadiums are 45,000 except for one in Doha is 70,000 and the final one is 86,000.

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Okay, question time. What's Qatar's plans for accommodation? We're talking about 1 city doing all the duties that 8-10 normally do, arent we?

I'm sure there will be the usual conglomeration of brand spanking new hotels and possibly cruise ships berthed to add extra rooms/beds. However there will be probably an over supply of rooms because thousands of fans who might have travelled to the other four bidding countries won't be turning up in Qatar. The expense, the heat, the social restrictions, hell...the paucity of decent boozing locations and the 'there's no there, there' attributes of Qatar mean the 2022 WC will be souless, with little local culture or colour, and a vast write down for the tourist dollar.

Can anyone imagine this happening in Qatar?

english-girls_world-cup-2010_02.jpg

or this

WC-German-vs-Argentina-deutsche-fan_11.jpg

Instead we will see mostly this:

Qatari_women.jpg

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130 degrees is rough.

actually, i've never even been in 130 degree heat.

but once i went to the dollar theater in vegas in july when it was 120 degrees because i thought it wouldn't be so bad if i was just running inside. but it kind of feels like you're melting a little bit and struggling against a wall of heat that just beats down on you relentlessly.

how do those women wear those veils outside? it's just so brutal.

i know you get used to it but i spent 3 summers and vegas and every time i couldn't wait to leave.

they should really build one of those classy underground cities like they have in canada.

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And already the incongruity of Qatar's win and indeed threats against the 2022 WC have started:

The boot goes into FIFA over World Cup 'farce'

(snip)

Disbelief at Qatar's win was also reflected in Japan and South Korea, with Japan's Football Association vice chairman Kuniya Daini politely saying: "I don't quite understand what factor is favourable. Maybe, it is meaningful to host it in the Middle East for the first time?"

In the United States, President Barack Obama said picking Qatar was "the wrong decision".

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati hinted that the selection process, which was marred by corruption allegations, should be overhauled.

"It's obviously not the way certain things are done in the US or in other parts of the world, and it is the way things are done in different parts of the world frankly, and I had some discussions with some of our competitors about that."

Former US football international Eric Wynalda was more direct with his comments, telling Fox Soccer Channel: "Is this about soccer or about natural gas and oil? That's what has just won... they have just bought the World Cup."

English outrage

England, which drew just two votes to exit the race in the first round, saw a repeat of the crushing defeat it experienced a decade ago when it bidded for the 2006 finals.

"What did we expect? FIFA, as far as I'm concerned, is full of people who say 'yes' to your face and 'no' behind your back," former England manager Graham Taylor told BBC Radio.

"Was the World Cup a stitch-up? Humiliated England loses out again... while fuming No10 refuses to congratulate Russia?" a Daily Mail headline asked.

Rumours also abounded that BBC's Panorama report into corruption at FIFA sparked the governing body's snub of the country that introduced football to the world.

"Make no mistake, English football was well and truly shafted yesterday by an organisation that has no interest in being scrutinised by the British media," The Independent's Sam Wallace wrote from Zurich.

But prominent English football analyst Henry Winter, while lamenting his country's loss, said Qatar's win was "the real scandal" and that FIFA credibility was battered by its decisions.

"Yet the real scandal in FIFA-ville was the decision to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar, a soulless, featureless, air-conditioned, cramped place with so little connection to football it required hired hands like Pep Guardiola. It was as if FIFA were saying 'to hell with the fans'. Qatar 2022 will be a joyless experience for supporters," Winter wrote in London's Daily Telegraph.

"FIFA's credibility was battered yesterday, not by any allegations of corruption but by the cynical game of collusion and vote-trading that patently went on in Fifa House. All the fish are soiled."

In Qatar, fans danced in the streets, blew vuvuzelas to express their delight and chanted "We won! We won!".

Scores of cars packed the country's roads, with the country's vast oil and gas wealth reflected in the number of Hummers, Range Rovers and Ferraris on display.

But the Qatari celebrations may have been tempered by the reaction from Islamist extremists, who proclaimed that their country would be no more by 2022, as it would become part of an "Islamic state".

"You fools, know that al-Qaeda is on the threshold of establishing the shariah (Islamic law) of Allah the Almighty," a user called Hafeed al-Hussein posted on the Shumukh al-Islam online forum, according to the US-based SITE Intelligence Group.

"In 2022, there is no country with the name Qatar, and there is no province called Kuwait and there is no Saudi (Arabia). Instead, there is an emirate called the Islamic State," the post added.

Another user, Abu Yassin, predicted that insurgents in the Russian Caucasus - where attacks on officials have become daily occurrences as Russian authorities battle the fighters - would help spell Qatar's downfall.

"In 2018, Russia will organise (the games) and the brothers in the emirate of the Caucasus, with permission from Allah, will make a case to cancel Qatar's" games, he wrote.

Another who called himself Abu Khubeib al-Khorasani said 2022 will be the "most exciting" World Cup final, predicting that Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo would be kidnapped and Al-Qaeda would win the tournament.

Edited by eusebius65
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Okay, question time. What's Qatar's plans for accommodation? We're talking about 1 city doing all the duties that 8-10 normally do, arent we?

Build it and they will come.

10 stadia of over 40,000 capacity in 25-30km radius!

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americans don't travel for the world cup ??

The country that sent the most fans to South Africa was the United States.

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I'm becoming more intrigued by Qatar's World Cup. They certainly can afford to make it work in any number of ways. Hopefully the US isn't feeling too bad about missing 2022, that's just how this cookie crumbled. It's pretty neat that the Game can be in the Middle East for the first time. I wish there were some representatives form Qatar here to congratulate.

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I'm becoming more intrigued by Qatar's World Cup. They certainly can afford to make it work in any number of ways. Hopefully the US isn't feeling too bad about missing 2022, that's just how this cookie crumbled. It's pretty neat that the Game can be in the Middle East for the first time. I wish there were some representatives form Qatar here to congratulate.

We had a Qatari member here.

Where is him??? Celebrating, maybe?

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I'm becoming more intrigued by Qatar's World Cup. They certainly can afford to make it work in any number of ways. Hopefully the US isn't feeling too bad about missing 2022, that's just how this cookie crumbled. It's pretty neat that the Game can be in the Middle East for the first time. I wish there were some representatives form Qatar here to congratulate.

I fail to see what is 'neat' about giving the World cup to a country that doesnt allow women to drive, flogs homosexuals, and doesnt allow people to drink alcohol (except in special 'fanzones'). A country with severely limited press freedom, that pays foreign 'guest' workers a pittance. There is nothing 'neat' about having 12 stadiums in what is essentially an area the size of a large city. This world cup will leave ZERO legacy. I dont but the rubbish that stadiums will be shipped off to other parts of the world whatsoever. A dreadful decision by a dreadful corrupt organisation. I have been to 5 World cups, I wont be in a hurry to go to number 6.....

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I fail to see what is 'neat' about giving the World cup to a country that doesnt allow women to drive, flogs homosexuals, and doesnt allow people to drink alcohol (except in special 'fanzones'). A country with severely limited press freedom, that pays foreign 'guest' workers a pittance. There is nothing 'neat' about having 12 stadiums in what is essentially an area the size of a large city. This world cup will leave ZERO legacy. I dont but the rubbish that stadiums will be shipped off to other parts of the world whatsoever. A dreadful decision by a dreadful corrupt organisation. I have been to 5 World cups, I wont be in a hurry to go to number 6.....

Whilst I've disagreed with Keitho in the past I am a 100% behind what has been posted above and unlike the naive and whitewashing 'think it's neat' kind of statements made by stir think that there are two as yet unresolved issues at stake. First off MaFIFA has set itself up as a moral guardian (particularly seen in its publicised stance on racism) whilst extolling the benefits of going to the Middle East in 2022 as some kind of new frontier action that will have social justice ramifications (as extolled by the Qatari's own bid propaganda). And yet these are some of the standards of society and law that Qatar holds onto:

  • At the end of 2003, Qatar remained one of only three Arab countries (with Oman and the UAE) that had not signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Qatar has signed very few international human rights conventions.
  • Most foreign women laborers work as domestic workers in Qatar and have only moderate access to justice. These women are often isolated within households, where their employers may restrict their freedom of movement. While they do have some legal rights and appear before the same court system as Qatari citizens, fear of expulsion and job loss often prevents these workers from exercising what rights they technically possess. The state does very little to protect foreign women, especially domestic workers.
  • Qatari citizenship is difficult to acquire. A 1961 law grants citizenship only to descendants of those who resided in Qatar before 1930. While some non-nationals have received citizenship, such exceptions are very rare and usually occur as a result of specific circumstances (e.g., soccer players admitted to make the country eligible for international competitions). Discrimination in favor of Qataris, especially citizens with power and influence, such as members of the large ruling family, occurs in all spheres of economic and social life.
  • Qatar's interpretations of Islamic law deem the testimony of two women to be equal to that of one man. However, judicial discretion works to make the courts flexible in applying this rule, and the judge ultimately decides the credibility of witnesses. Women usually attend court proceedings in legal cases but are typically represented by a male relative or, increasingly, a (male) attorney, although women may represent themselves if they choose. Half of Qatar's judges are non-Qataris who are at-will employees who can be fired and consequently deported at any time, a circumstance that limits their independence. There are no women judges in Qatar

(source: Freedom House)

Now how is it that the Zurich robber barons can pontificate about awarding the WC to Qatar as a (partial) means to using football as a force for social change when the society and polity that generated the bid for Qatar is based on such gender and racial prejudice? Then consider the bias in the Qatari position re Israel (they won't recognise the state nor will they allow its FA to be part of the Confederation where it logically should sit geographically) however they promise that conditional on qualification Israel will be allowed to send a team. On the much trumpeted moral grounds that Blather's cronies continue to validate their management of the game Qatar fails miserably.

Another issue that Keitho brings up which should make everyone pause and thing again is that there will be a dearth of fans willing to travel to Qatar for the very reasons why its society is so quarantined to the male local Arabic Islamic oligarchy. If Keitho doesn't want to go to a Qatari WC (and I can but assume the 5 he has been to has meant a considerable investment on his behalf) imagine the damage to the WC's reputation and the potential loss of revenue if 10,000 of Keitho's ilk don't attend. Or 50,000, Or 100,000? By disenfranchising the interests and support of the most passionate fans (such as those who arguably may do thing en mass that Qatari society would find morally, socially and under their restrictive legal codes unlawful) then Blather, Bin Hammam etc are reinforcing and rewarding the feudal attitudes of an oil rich emirate that has contributed nothing to world football and nothing to the moral development of its immediate geographic area.

Edited by eusebius65
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