Qatar Football Association Chief joins FIFA Head for Sri Lanka visit
Friday, 21 November 2014 11:59
Qatar Football Association President Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani will join the VIP football delegation, headed by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, which will visit Sri Lanka on 1 December.
One of Hamad’s chief achievements is winning the right to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, the first event of its kind to take place in the Middle East.
The advent of football in Qatar dates back to 1946, accompanied by the arrival of oil companies. The game’s popularity expanded immediately, which led to the establishment of Al Najah as the country’s first football club in 1950. In fact under the supervision of the Qatar Oil Company, the first football tournament ever in Qatar was held in the city of Dukhan.
A member of the ruling Al Thani Qatari royal family, Hamad was the ruling Emir of Qatar from 1995 to 2013.
In May this year, Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) President Ranjith Rodrigo, was the Guest of Honour at the grand finale of the Emir’s Cup 2013 held at the Al Kalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar on 18 May.
During his brief 36-hour visit to Sri Lanka, Sheikh Hamad and the rest of the delegation will meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, attend the opening of a football stadium in Jaffna, meet with the local football community and participate in a banquet to celebrate the 75th anniversary of local football.
FIFA whistleblower says ‘living in fear’
Reuters: FIFA whistleblower Phaedra Al-Majid, who accused Qatar of corruption in its successful bid to win the right to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, said on Wednesday she was living in fear after receiving threats against her family.
Al-Majid, a former employee of the Qatar 2022 bid, said a FIFA report into corruption in that bid and the 2018 bid, awarded to Russia, had ignored some of the evidence she gave investigators.
“I will be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life. It’s cost me my credibility and the security of me and my children, however I did witness something and believe I did have to say what I witnessed,” she said in an interview with Sky TV.
Al-Majid did not say who had threatened her.
Her evidence was dismissed in the FIFA report which was made public by German judge Hans Joachim Eckert last week.
“If you are asking me do I regret being the Qatar whistleblower, it has cost me personally, it cost me emotionally,” Al-Majid added.
Neither FIFA nor Qatar 2022 were immediately available to comment.