The FIFA Ethics and regulations Watch (FERW) held a press conference in the city of Zurich, Switzerland to launch its report titled, ” Scrutinising & deconstructing the campaign to undermine Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.” The report prepared by FERW discussed the Qatar World Cup and the media campaigns surrounding it. The launch featured a number of  press and sports experts who examined the case and provided their verdict.

The report analysed the previous and existing dynamics occasioned in the region since Qatar was selected as the country organiser of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The report look at the conditions surrounding the victory of Qatar to host the world cup. It also examines the media coverage and the organised campaign to harm the tournament which was very apparent in the last few months.

The press conference featured speakers researcher Oliver Wenczel and international relations expert Juan Sebastián Brizenda of Catholic University of Milan. It also hosted economist Juan David Vega Baquero of University of Geneva and social activist Yira Marcela Godoy. The speakers highlighted on key topics such as “Scrutinising & Deconstructing the Campaign to undermine Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup” and  ” Talking about Human Rights in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022″  They also discussed Geopolitics-ball: How critics to Qatar (Host country of the 2022 World Cup) are more geopolitical than football. One another topic was titled, ” FIFA World Cup: More than a just football event”

Speakers concluded that United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have been leading efforts to strip Qatar off its right to host the World Cup in 2022. A look at media outlets run by both countries reveal the extent of the campaign directed against Qatar in this regard. The UAE and Saudi media have repeatedly claimed that Qatar “ran black ops” campaign to sabotage competing rivals. Interestingly enough, none of the competing rivals of Qatar has voiced any of these claims and they are exclusively promoted by Saudi Arabia and UAE, especially following the breakout of the diplomatic crisis in 2017.

They also disucssed the UAE stance on the World up and how it went further as one of its  senior officials stated that Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup “should depend on it rejecting extremism and terrorism.” “Hosting World Cup 2022 should not be tainted by support of extremist individuals & (organizations) terrorist figures, review of Qatar’s policies a must,” The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash added to Reuters

Speakers added that, Saudi Arabia has sided with the UAE in their attempts to strip Qatar off hosting the next World Cup in 2022. With the Qatari giant PinSports owning the rights of broadcasting of the Russia 2018 World Cup in the Middle East up to 2030, a channel broadcasting from Saudi Arabia stole the copyrights of the Qatari giant, by broadcasting from Saudi Arabia, with Saudis denying involvement following a complaint by Qatar to FIFA

The report revealed that he UK media has been engaged in a fierce campaign against giving Qatar the right to host the football tournament accusing the Gulf state of violating workers’ rights and using black ops to influence the voting of FIFA back in 2010.

The report as highlighted by speakers suggested that UK media has engaged in an equally fierce battle against Qatar over hosting the World Cup in 2022. This campaign has to do with two reasons: the first is the possibility of the UK hosting the world Cup in 2022 if Qatar loses it, and the second is the funding of the UAE of some mainstream British media outlets, such as the Guardian and the Independent to run anti-Qatar articles and materials. In an article published by the Independent, Jonathan Liew, the Independent Chief Sports Writer claimed that workers in Qatar “are slaves.”

” The Daily Mail had its share in this anti-Qatar campaign. The newspaper published a report quoting Lord Triesman, former chairman of the English Football Association, calling on FIFA to reconsider awarding Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup.” said the report

A number of recommendations were made by the FERW’s report such as:

  • The Qatari model and success in sports should be an example to follow by other countries.
  • All countries around the world should collaborate with Qatar after it was cleared off accusation surrounding the World Cup to make this international sport event a success.
  • The UAE should stop its media war against Qatar and should not allow envy and political considerations to spoil the beauty of the World Cup 2022.
  • Saudi Arabia and other countries in conflict with Qatar should not involve the World Cup in their differences and should isolate sports from politics
  • The United Kingdom should support efforts made by Qatar and its recent moves to do so is a step in the right direction.
  • Developing countries, which Qatar said will give its sports facilities to after the end of the Word Cup, should make efforts to support Qatar.
  • The blockading countries of Qatar should open their airspace in front of football fans planning to attend the World Cup.

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