KUWAIT CITY: Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, in confirming his Asian football power bid, has thrown his weight unequivocally behind the controversial 2022 World Cup hosting in Qatar writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The president of the Association of National Olympic Committees has stated his own personal support for the Qataris just two days after the controversy of the award was reignited by a recommendation from a FIFA task force that the finals should be switched to the winter for the first time in almost a century of competition.
Sheikh Ahmad said: “For Asian football one of the highest priorities is to ensure that Qatar hosts the best possible FIFA World Cup in 2022. As the first FIFA World Cup hosted in the region I have no doubt that it will have a very strong legacy impact across Asia and the Middle East inspiring millions of young people to engage in sport.”
On a wider front he promised a candidacy which would emphasise the need and value for sport to provide a platform for worldwide social and political engagement.
The Asian Football Confederation stages its election congress in Manana on April 30. Sheikh Fadah will be a candidate for one of three AFC slots on the executive committee of world federation FIFA.
Sheikh Fahad said: “It is a great honour to have been put forward for this highly prestigious position.
“Having been the OCA president for many years before becoming ANOC president, I understand the importance when transitioning into a global position of recognising and embracing different cultures for the benefit of all regions worldwide.
“I strongly believe in the power of sport to break down social barriers, foster greater gender and racial equality and unite the world for a better future.
“Football as the sport with the greatest reach in the world has limitless potential to promote these values and bring about social change.”