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Posted On: 28 January 2009 02:49 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar announces candidacy for 2018 football World Cup

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In an unprecedented move, Qatar yesterday confirmed its intention to bid to host the football World Cup in 2018. No Arab country has ever attempted to host the football showpiece event. “I can confirm that the Qatar Football Federation has today sent a letter to FIFA in which it officially declared its candidacy for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups,” Qatar Football Federation Secretary General Saud Al Muhanadi said yesterday. If Qatar fails to win the 2018 bid, it will aim for the 2022 edition. Football is by far the most popular sport in the entire Arab world. FIFA started reception of bids for the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups earlier this month. All the interested national federations will have to make their bids before February 2. Among other countries who have officially bid are England, Spain and Portugal in a joint bid, and Belgium and the Netherlands, also in a joint bid. England last staged the World Cup in 1966. Other interested countries, according to FIFA, are Japan, China, Mexico, the United States, Russia, Australia and Canada. The US staged the event in 1994 when Brazil beat Italy in the final. FIFA, football’s world governing body, will name the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December 2010. The next edition will be held in South Africa in 2010 whereas the previous finals were held in Germany. Gas-rich Qatar failed in its bid to host the 2016 Olympics but successfully hosted the 2006 Asian Games, the region’s largest multi sports gathering involving more than 10,000 athletes and officials. Doha, which will host the 2011 Asian Cup, is planning to construct the first-ever underground football stadium before Asia’s showpiece football event to be held in less than two years’ time.