Football Notes: Qatar Hits Back At Attempt To Take World Cup Away
Qatari officials hit back at the attempt by rival Middle Eastern countries to "take the 2022 World Cup away from them." Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut off ties from Qatar and blockaded the state, "accusing it of supporting terrorism and sowing discord in the region." Now they are "trying to put pressure on Qatar’s hosting the 2022 World Cup," demanding that if they give up the tournament they "would lift their sanctions." But Qatar insisted that there was "absolutely no prospect of that happening" (London INDEPENDENT, 10/11).
Hong Kong football supporters "again jeered China’s national anthem on Tuesday as tensions between sections of the city’s population and the mainland Chinese authorities continue to simmer." A group of fans at Hong Kong Stadium for the Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia booed during "The March of the Volunteers" in a "continuing show of defiance" that began in '14 (REUTERS, 10/10).
Scottish businesses from football to farming "voiced their fears about the impact of Brexit on staffing, profitability and growth." A Scottish Government report draws together the concerns of firms and "calls for their voices to be heard" as the U.K. negotiates leaving the European Union. The freedom of movement is "also a concern for the Scottish Professional Football League" (SCOTSMAN, 10/11).
Panama President Juan Carlos Valera declared Wednesday a public holiday in the country after the national team qualified for its first ever World Cup. Valera wrote on Twitter after the game, "The voice of the people has been heard; celebrate Panama's historic day. Tomorrow will be a national holiday" (ESPN.com, 10/11).
FIFA suspended Pakistan from int'l football because of "government interference." FIFA said that the Pakistan federation's "offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator." Rules imposed by FIFA and its members "prohibit outside influence on its independence" (AP, 10/11).
Five amateur referees have resigned from the Central Wales FA with six more "seriously considering" their resignation. Referees in mid-Wales said that it was "because of the level of abuse directed towards them during games." It also caused "a shortage in referees" at games at grassroots level (BBC, 10/11).