The Baghdad Post

  In The Baghdad Post 

Qatar in dilemma amid Kuwait’s shrinking chances to host WC’s matches

Qatar would expectedly face a real dilemma over hosting the World Cup in 2022, after Kuwait’s reports asserted that Kuwait’s chances of hosting some of the tournament’s games are limited.

This comes a week after Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi confirmed his country’s inability to host some matches of the World Cup.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino met Kuwait’s emir on Sunday, state media said, amid reports the Gulf state is in talks to host matches to support Qatar during the 2022 World Cup.

Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed Al-Sabah and the head of the country’s sports federation met with Infantino on a low-profile visit that began Saturday, Kuwait’s official KUNA news agency said.

Infantino also met with the speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly, Marzuk al-Ghanem, and officials of the national football federation, KUNA said.

FIFA has decided to increase the number of teams in the World Cup from 32 to 48 come 2026 in the United States, Canada and Mexico – but last month voted in favor of the increase being implemented starting in Qatar, which would likely require that neighboring countries host some games.

A final decision on the Qatar proposal, strongly supported by Infantino, is expected at a FIFA meeting in Paris in June.

The increase in the number of teams would automatically raise the number of both games and fans, presenting new logistical challenges to Qatar.

Further complicating the matter is the Gulf diplomatic crisis, a nearly two-year-old diplomatic freeze between Qatar and its rivals.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut all ties with Doha in June 2017, accusing Qatar of supporting Iran and terrorist groups. Source