World Cup will be played in Qatar

A FIFA spokesman has moved to quell growing calls for the World Cup to be moved away from Qatar, by insisting there is “no doubt” the 2022 World Cup will be played in the Gulf State.

FIFA’s executive committee began a two-day meeting in Zurich on Thursday, and while discussions are expected to focus on whether the 2022 finals should be played in the summer or the winter, some have questioned whether it should go ahead in the country at all. The fresh controversy over Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers involved in constructing facilities have fuelled talk of the finals being switched.

However, FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio has moved to nip that suggestion in the bud before it gathers momentum.

“No doubt,” he told reporters when asked if it would be played in Qatar. “What is open to question is if we play in winter, and if so is it November, December, January, I don’t know…

“But there is no doubt we will play in Qatar.”

The alternative scarcely bears thinking about, not least by FIFA’s accountants who will have been waking up in a cold sweat in recent weeks, as they contemplated the huge legal costs and compensation claims the organisation would face, should the decision to relocate the finals be taken.