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22 June 2015 08:04 am

Arabs slam anti-Qatar campaign

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The Arab League yesterday condemned the “hateful campaign” against Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup, amid a corruption scandal rocking football’s governing body FIFA.
The League’s General Assembly, in a statement, declared its “full support” for Qatar’s hosting of the tournament, which would be the first World Cup held in an Arab country.
“The Arab League endorses the resolution issued by the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) condemning the hateful campaign that attempts to question Qatar’s right to host the 2022 World Cup,” the Cairo-based League said.
On Thursday, the OIC denounced “biased Western media campaigns against the State of Qatar”.
The OIC General Secretariat, in a statement, emphasised that organising the 2022 World Cup in Qatar represented an achievement for its member states.
The statement said the OIC was monitoring with concern the Western media’s tendentious campaigns targeting Qatar, an OIC member, casting doubt on its right to host the World Cup.
The statement reiterated OIC’s full support to Qatar, noting that it was the first Muslim state ever to play host to such a world event.
It welcomed Qatar’s continued preparations to host the 2022 World Cup, applauding the level of progress reached so far.
And on June 11, GCC foreign ministers issued a strongly-worded statement, affirming their solidarity with their member state. They also hit out at the “hateful campaign” directed against Qatar.
A statement, issued after a meeting of GCC foreign ministers in Riyadh, affirmed their full support for the tournament.
“The ministerial council has expressed great condemnation of the hateful campaign that is trying to discredit the merit of Qatar in hosting the 2022 World Cup,” read the statement.
Many leading footballers have also declared their support to Qatar. The latest to give his unstinted support to Qatar was former Argentine international Lucho Gonzalez.
On Saturday, he said that the media attack directed at World Cup 2022 had an agenda behind it but dismissed that it would threaten holding the event in the Middle East for the first time ever.