AMMAN: Asian Football Confederation presidential candidate Yousuf Al Serkal has dismissed UEFA president Michel Platini’s call for Qatar to share its 2022 World Cup with its Middle East neighbours as a “crazy idea”.

UAE Football Association chairman Al Serkal is one of four contenders for the top job in Asian football, with 2022 set to represent the first time the World Cup has travelled to the Middle East region.

Platini has long called on the tiny Arab state to share the tournament, repeating this claim at the weekend.

The huge infrastructure demands of hosting a World Cup was one of the main question marks raised when Qatar was first awarded the tournament.

However, Al Serkal has dismissed the chance of a change in hosting strategy, telling Reuters: “It is a crazy idea. First of all this cannot happen. The FIFA executive committee has already taken a decision and awarded the 2022 World Cup to the Qataris. We support Qatar to host the World Cup independently and we are not interested in any sharing.

“On the contrary, we have put ourselves at the disposal of the Qataris for any support they might require, be it logistically or whatever.”

Nominations for the AFC presidency, which will run from 2013 to 2015, were this week confirmed as Dr Hafez Ibrahim Al Medlei of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Al Serkal and Thailand’s Dato’ Worawki Makudi.


A final list of candidates will be revealed on April 2, before an election takes place on May 3.

Al Serkal travelled to Jordan on Wednesday for a meeting with the West Asian Football Federation where he was seeking to shore up votes among the 12 other member associations in the region.

However, negotiations to settle on a single candidate from West Asia failed at the Amman meeting, which Bahrain’s Al Khalifa missed, with further discussions planned next month.

Al Serkal believes there is little chance of a consensus candidate. He added: “There is a good chance that there will be an understanding between me and Al Medlej.

“We will continue an open-minded dialogue between us. But at this moment it is unlikely that there will be any agreement between us and Sheikh Salman.”


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