Death by 100 cuts – or more simply close the border?
The five nation “army” that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar has become a very real threat to 2022 FIFA World Cup. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen—have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, cut off all travel to and from the country, and ordered their citizens to leave the country.
The five counties have accused Qatar of supporting Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, an allegation Qatar denies. Still, this is serious business. Closing the border with Saudi Arabia has shut off the only road route into the country. Air space is also being denied which puts restrictions on Qatar Airways – a FIFA sponsor.
Is the 2022 World Cup now under threat? Yes.
Will this issue be resolved by 2022? Possibly.
FIFA, which is sponsored by Qatar Airways, said the organization “is in regular contact with the Qatar 2022 local organising committee and the supreme committee for delivery & legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 Fifa World Cup.”
Qatar, of course, denies any links to terrorism or militant groups.
“The state of Qatar has been subjected to a campaign of lies that have reached the point of complete fabrication,” announced a statement from its foreign ministry. “It reveals a hidden plan to undermine the state of Qatar.”
The incident has triggered a response that may have a ripple affect through FIFA and its member federations.
World Cup holders Germany set off the first flare with German FA president, Reinhard Grindel, saying he would raise the issue with his country’s government and UEFA.
“The football community worldwide should agree that … major tournaments should not be played in countries that actively support terror,” Grindel said.