OIC slams Western media over reports on Qatar 2022

OIC slams Western media over reports on Qatar 2022

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation that Qatar won the right to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup through fair and transparent competition.



By (AFP)

Published: Thu 18 Jun 2015, 5:45 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:07 PM

Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Iyad bin Amin Madani and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Shaikh Sabah Al Khaled Al-Sabah chair a meeting of the organisation in Saudi on Tuesday. -AFP

Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Iyad bin Amin Madani and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Shaikh Sabah Al Khaled Al-Sabah chair a meeting of the organisation in Saudi on Tuesday. -AFP 

Jeddah — The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has backed Qatar’s “right” to host the football World Cup and slammed “biased” Western media coverage of the 2022 tournament.

In a strongly-worded statement from the OIC’s general secretariat released on Wednesday, it also calls on institutions and media groups among member states to back Qatar.

“The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is monitoring with concern the western media tendentious campaigns targeting the state of Qatar, an OIC member, casting doubt on its right to host the World Cup for football in 2022,” read the statement.

It also condemned “biased Western media campaigns against the State of Qatar, which question the latter’s eligibility to organise the 2022 World Cup, and some Western media’s insistence on spreading false and prejudiced information”.

The OIC, a 57-state strong organisation, added that Qatar won the right to host the competition “through fair and transparent competition”.

The tournament would also demonstrate the role “played by sports in consolidating peace” read the statement.

It is the latest regional show of support for Qatar’s much-criticised hosting of football’s biggest tournament in seven years’ time.

Earlier this month, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers hit out at the “hateful campaign” directed against Qatar.

GCC countries should stand in “solidarity” with Qatar, added the ministers in the same statement.

The GCC has also urged regional media to counter claims made by Western press.

The support comes at a time when Qatar’s hosting of football’s premier tournament, long criticised by many over corruption and human rights abuse allegations, is under further intense scrutiny because of the scandal engulfing the sport’s governing body, Fifa.

Following the arrest of 14 current or former Fifa officials and sports marketing executives accused by US prosecutors of taking part in a major kickback scheme involving a total of $150 million in bribes, Swiss judicial authorities have launched an investigation into the awarding of the 2022 competition and the 2018 tournament in Russia.

On Wednesday, Swiss prosecutors said they were investigating 53 cases of possible money laundering.

Attorney-general Michael Lauber said the “suspicious” cases had been reported by banks and that a “huge and complex” inquiry into football’s world body could take months if not years.

Earlier this month, a Fifa official said Qatar could lose the World Cup if allegations of wide scale bribery could be proved.

“If evidence exists that Qatar and Russia received the (World Cup) awards only thanks to bribes, then the awards could be annulled,” head of Fifa’s auditing and compliance committee Domenico Scala told the Swiss Sonntagszeitung weekly.

His comments were the first by a Fifa official to admit the possibility that Qatar could lose hosting football’s showpiece.

Scala added, however, that no such evidence had been provided so far.

Qatar has maintained that its bid remains unaffected by the latest allegations.


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