Qatar’s much-criticised 2022 World Cup has been the victim of “malicious and unwarranted attacks”, a senior tournament official in the Gulf said on Monday.
Nasser Al-Khater, assistant secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body overseeing the organisation of the tournament in Qatar, also claimed that many of the country’s critics had not “set foot in the country”.
“We’ve responded to our critics for a very long time to the detriment of the local people and local media,” he told a Soccerex Asia forum meeting in Doha.
“We were under a lot of criticism. We were under, I would say, malicious and unwarranted attacks.”
Since being controversially chosen to host football’s biggest event almost exactly six years ago, Qatar has received a barrage of international criticism.
These have mostly focused on corruption allegations to secure the tournament in the first place and its poor human rights record, in relation to the almost two million migrant workers in the Gulf state.
Qatar is the subject of an ongoing Swiss Attorney General investigation into corruption claims over the bidding process for the 2022 tournament, allegations always denied in Doha.
Source : International