Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Other states could cohost expanded Qatar World Cup

Reuters, ABU DHABI

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Oman could stage some World Cup 2022 matches if required by host Qatar to hold an expanded event, UAE General Sports Authority Chairman Mohammed Khalfan al-Romaithi said on Tuesday.

FIFA is next month expected to decide whether it would expand the competition from 32 to 48 teams, but has said it would be difficult for Qatar to do it alone.

A deep political rift in the Gulf complicates the prospects of sharing the competition.

“If this is resolved, we are more than happy to help them organize,” al-Romaithi said of the potential for the UAE to host some matches. “But I know that if the crisis remains we cannot.”

The UAE, Kuwait and Oman can meet FIFA requirements to host World Cup matches, he said.

Al-Romaithi last month told reporters that the UAE would welcome an approach to cohost the 2022 World Cup if its rift with Qatar was resolved. He believes the UAE is capable of hosting matches for two groups.

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