Doha, June 4: Qatar's World Cup football organisers said today that the recent dramatic events at FIFA would "not impact" on the country's preparations for its hosting of the controversial 2022 tournament.
In its first direct statement about football's governing body since yesterday's resignation of long-time president Sepp Blatter, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said: "The recent events at FIFA will not impact on our preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup."
The committee said it was "ahead of schedule" as work had already begun on five of the stadiums which will be used during the tournament. It also added that it was used to attacks on its hosting of the World Cup.
"Qatar has faced criticism from the moment we won the right to bring this tournament to the Middle East for the first time. We remain committed to using the World Cup as a platform to break down prejudice and misconceptions, while leaving a lasting legacy for our country and the rest of the region."
Blatter's sensational resignation, together with the US graft probe and the Swiss authorities' investigation into corruption claims surrounding the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup, has led some to question whether Qatar will be stripped of the tournament.
English football boss Greg Dyke said Qatar should be nervous following Blatter's decision to stand down after 17 years in charge of FIFA.
Qatar confident of hosting 2022 FIFA World Cup
Speaking on British television, Football Association chairman Dyke said: "If I was in Qatar, I wouldn't be very confident." Dyke's call was echoed by the International Trade Union Conference (ITUC).
A longtime critic of Qatar's labour practices, the ITUC said Blatter's resignation exposed Qatar to losing the tournament in seven years' time. Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: "Qatar needs to wake up to the reality that the world will not accept a World Cup built on modern slavery."
However, Qatar has refuted these claims. In response to Dyke, the head of Qatar's Football Association, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, told Dyke that Qatar had nothing to hide over its controversial bid.