FIFA Concerned Anti-Doha Bloc Politicising Gulf Football

FIFA Concerned Anti-Doha Bloc Politicising Gulf Football
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Published February 21st, 2018 - 12:39 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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The Saudi-led bloc has attempted to drag the diplomatic row onto the football pitch during the eight-month long boycott.
The Saudi-led bloc has attempted to drag the diplomatic row onto the football pitch during the eight-month long boycott.

FIFA is concerned that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have politicised football and could soon demand a meeting with footballing officials, Spanish daily Diario AS reported.

FIFA is concerned that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have politicised football and could soon demand a meeting with footballing officials, Spanish daily Diario AS reported.

The sports newspaper said in a report published on Tuesday that FIFA has been closely monitoring political use of football by Saudi Arabia and the UAE against neighbour Qatar.

"In the case of Saudi Arabia, the result of the interference could be shattering since, if proven true, it could endanger their participation in the 2018 World Cup in Russia," Diario AS said.

Since June, Saudi Arabia along with the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have severed all ties - including travel - with Qatar after accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

Qatar, which is the host nation of the 2022 World Cup, denies the accusations and says the dispute is an attack on its sovereignty.

The Saudi-led bloc has attempted to drag the diplomatic row onto the football pitch during the eight-month long boycott.

The bloc has reportedly urged football's governing body to strip Doha of hosting the World Cup.

In December, Qatar for agreed to move the Gulf Cup to Kuwait.

The three boycotting Gulf states had failed to confirm their participation in the Qatar-hosted tournament.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE this month failed to have Asian Champions League matches between with Qatari teams played in a third country.

Rather than taking a short direct flight from Doha to Abu Dhabi, Qatar's al-Gharafa FC was forced to go via Oman on Sunday because of the dispute.

The football federations of the UAE and Saudi Arabia accepted the decision from the Asian Football Confederation though they expressed reservations.

A top Emirati official has said that should Doha forfeit hosting the World Cup the Gulf crisis would end.

Copyright @ 2018 The New Arab.

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