Qatar foreign minister blasts 'misinformation' on 2022 World Cup

Qatar foreign minister blasts 'misinformation' on 2022 World Cup
Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has hit back against critics of the World Cup hosts, saying that they cannot accept a small Arab country hosting the world's biggest sporting event.
2 min read
07 November, 2022
Qatar's foreign minister made the comments in an interview with Sky News [Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Qatar's foreign minister has lashed out against "arrogant" critics of the Qatar World Cup as the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) expressed its support for the tournament hosts. 

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani described the negative media reaction to the Gulf state hosting the World Cup as "misinformation" during an interview with Sky News


"What kind of message are they sending to their own public?" he said in response to a question about criticism from nations competing in the tournament. 

"What about their own problems within their countries, which they are turning a blind eye [to]? Honestly, not me or the Qatari people only, but there's a lot of people from around the world who are just seeing this as a sense of arrogance.

"A sense of people who cannot accept a small country from the Middle East has won the bid to host the World Cup."

On Monday, the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) came out in support of Qatar hosting the tournament, saying it rejected "all suspicious and baseless propaganda, which aims only to distort Arab capabilities and competencies".

UAFA added that the 2022 World Cup gives the world the opportunity to experience Arab culture, and encouraged fans to enjoy the global sporting event. 

The Qatar FM has also blasted Germany for its criticism of the host nation, describing it as "double standards".

"On the one side, the German population is misinformed by government politicians; on the other, the government has no problem with us when it comes to energy partnerships or investments," he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

"We are annoyed by the double standards... It is ironic when this tone is struck in countries in Europe that call themselves liberal democracies. It sounds very arrogant, frankly, and very racist."

The tournament is days away, beginning on 20 November and ending on 18 December. 

Qatar was awarded the tournament in 2010 and has since spent around $8 billion on improving infrastructure and building stadiums in the country. 

Amid sustained criticism over workers' rights and LGBTQ issues, a number of Qatari officials have spoken out against what they say is a coordinated smear campaign against their country. 

The government has said that critics have not recognised the reforms implemented so far and said everyone - including members of the LGBT community - is welcome at the event.