DOHA: Qatar organising officials remain perfectly certain that the 2022 World Cup finals will go ahead as scheduled in the Gulf state in November and December that year.

The tournament will start in precisely five years’ time assuming a resolution long before then of the present political stand-off undertaken by neighbours Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and thier acolytes.

Already the long-running controversy over the conditions of construction workers has eased after international trades union acknowledged Qatar government promises to end the kafala tied-contract system of employment.

Hassan Al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, reiterated his confidence in the event – for the nth time – against a background of references to Qatar 2022 in the FIFAGate trial in New York.

Last week Alejandro Burzaco, an Argentinean sports marketing executive had testified before a New York Court that the late Julio Grondona, the former Argentine FA president and FIFA vice-president, had told him that he accepted at least one million dollars to vote for Qatar as the hosts of the 2022 World Cup.

On Monday another witness revealed that a number of bribe payments concerning TV deals had been labelled “Q2022.”

Al-Thawadi responded by pointing out that the investigation undertaken for world federation FIFA by American lawyer Michael Garcia had exonerated Qatar of any wrongdoing.

He said: “It is all hearsay and there is no evidence. We are confident in the integrity of our bid. We fully cooperated with the Garcia Commission. The result of the Garcia report exonerates us and confirms that ours was a clean bid.

“With relation to the statement made, there is nothing to say from my side. We are confident of the people we engage with. We are confident in the manner in which we engage with them.

“One of the people that were mentioned include Sandro Rossell (former Barcelona president). Our relation extends with him beyond the bid, in relation to Aspire Academy and also other projects as well. His relationship with us extends far back.

Legal rights

“Our relationships are transparent and we have demonstrated this during the Garcia investigation. As far as the other claims that came up, all I can say is that it is not true.”

Rosell is currently being held in jail in Spain on money-laundering charges.

Al-Thawadi cautioned that Qatar would contest any move to attack its World Cup hosting.

He said: “If we were unfairly and unjustly found guilty, we will take legal action. Of course, we will take all legal proceedings. We will appeal against whatever decisions that get made. It’s simple as that. If you are asking an innocent person what would you do if found guilty, my question to you would be what would an innocent person do?

“They would fight to be exonerated; they will fight to clear their name. That’s the only way, there is no alternative I can give. We are confident of the actions that we have taken. We are confident that we won’t be found guilty. If we were for whatever reason unjustly found, as an individual person or institution, guilty, we will continue fighting to clear our name.

“However, I must add that the investigation and the trial (in New York) going on is not related to 2022. The Garcia investigation that happened for 2018 and 2022 (bids) happened for all the bidding nations. You must read the Garcia report to know the extent of the investigation.”

He added that the FIFAGate trial in New York was unconnected with the World Cup award.

Al-Thawadi said: “The investigation is not in relation with the World Cup.  We are not part to it. The first step is we need to be under investigation and then the second step goes to these elements. Having said that we are not part of that process.”