Qatar has urged the four countries imposing diplomatic and trade boycott against it to see reason and allow their citizens to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, stating that politics and sport must be separate. Doha’s words made observers see the Qatari regime as living in denial, as if the boycott had not even slightly impacted its endeavors.
On November 20, Qatar’s Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Hassan Al-Thawadi told reporters, “We separate politics from sports. We hope that the blockading nations see reason in this matter and allow their people to be able to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
In September, the Arab Federation for Human Rights called for pulling the 2022 World Cup from Qatar by providing two reports; one report claims that Qatar monetarily bribed officials in order to host the World Cup, Saudi News Channel reported.
Doha was excluded from attending the Riyadh forum of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition’s Ministers of Defense Council in November. International and regional reports have exposed allegation for Qatar’s support to terror organizations and individuals.
The forum called for the cessation of terrorist financing from terrorist organizations and countries supporting terrorism. It also aimed to reject extremist religious discourse. On the other hand, Qatar has been alleged to embrace, support and incite extremists through its biased media arms.
On November 26, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the session under the title “United against Terrorism.” Top defense officials from some 40 Muslim-majority countries met for a summit aiming to counter “terrorism.”
Qatar has relied on Turkey and Iran to provide it with food, commodities, and even arms since the boycott was initiated. Thawadi’s press statement raises the question concerning whether the Qatari regime believes the crisis will last until 2022, and how that could affect the Gulf region.
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar under accusations that the state destabilizes the region by supporting terrorism and allying with the regional foe Iran.
The boycotting countries halted all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, ejected its diplomats and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their states within 14 days.
The Arab countries listed 13 demands to be met by Qatar, including severing ties with terrorist groups, closing down the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera satellite channel, downgrading ties with arch-rival Iran and the closure of a Turkish air base in Qatar.