OMAN: The Foreign Minister of Oman has effectively removed his Gulf state from the political manoeuvrings around the 2022 World Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

A survey by world federation FIFA has come up with five potential countries with the theoretical potential to share the finals with Qatar if it were decided to increase the number of teams from 32 to 48.

However three of those countries are in a political and economic stand-off with Qatar which left only Oman and Kuwait as possibilities.

Oman is not an option, however, according to Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

He said: “We have been asked repeatedly about this, and the answer was: We are not ready, we are not ready.

“The right to host this tournament has been granted to our brothers in Qatar and has to stay there. If we can invest in such a major event at some stage in the future then why not? We would be happy to be a host.

“However, it is too late to host the 2022 World Cup.”