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SBD Global/December 12, 2013/International Football

World Cup Organizing Committee Official Says Qatar Ready For Summer, Winter Event In 2022

Qatar is "prepared to stage the 2022 World Cup in the summer or in the winter," and "will abide by whatever decision" FIFA takes on the matter, according to the AFP. Qatar 2022 Organizing Committee Secretary General Hassan Al-Thawadi said, "From the beginning, we've always said we can stage the World Cup in summer. The cooling system for the stadia will be very much part of our legacy. But if the football world or FIFA want it to be staged in the winter then we are happy and ready. If they want it in summer, then we are still ready." Speaking on the sidelines of the Doha GOALS sports summit, Al-Thawadi "rejected any suggestions that Qatar was not fit to host the World Cup." Al-Thawadi: "We have always complied with FIFA regulations and these allegations have absolutely no basis. Why did we win it? Without wanting to sound arrogant, it was because we had the best bid in terms of messages" (AFP, 12/11). In Qatar, Mikhil Bhat reported La Liga President Javier Tebas has said that the league "will have no problems moving their schedule to accommodate change in dates of the 2022 World Cup, if any." At Doha GOALS, Tebas said, "Qatar is ready to host the World Cup. Nobody can question that. Having said that, the calendar is something that is manageable and La Liga is happy to co-operate in finding the right window to play the matches." Tebas was in Doha to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Aspire Academy to "co-operate closely in exchanging know-how in sporting development." Under the terms of the agreement, Qatar "will be positioned as a global football centre." A planned U15 La Liga tournament with the participation of Aspire teams "will provide the centrepiece of the partnership," with 12 teams competing at Aspire Academy in Doha in April '14 (GULF TIMES, 12/10).
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