Robertson backs Qatar World Cup

Sports minister Hugh Robertson has given his full backing to Qatar's proposed plans to stage the 2022 World Cup.

Last Updated: 11/12/12 at 17:57 Post Comment

Hugh Robertson: Has given Qatar World Cup his support

Hugh Robertson: Has given Qatar World Cup his support

Robertson, one of the speakers on the opening day of the Doha Goals forum in the Qatari capital, took time off to visit World Cup bosses and said he was seriously impressed.

Robertson, who suffered the indignity of being on the end of a heavy beating when England acquired only two votes during bidding for the 2018 World Cup, has heard all the negative comments about Qatar, half the size of Wales and with no football pedigree, winning 2022 by a landslide - but wanted to see things for himself.

After meeting both the Emir of Qatar and 2022 officials when he was given a complete presentation, Robertson said he was "absolutely amazed."

"I've never been here before even though I have travelled extensively around the Middle East," he said.

"Part of the attraction was to see what this phenomenon was all about in the way they won that bid and the way they presented other bids. Quite frankly it's mind-blowing.

"In my heart of hearts I have never thought major sports events should be restricted to Europe, the Americas or parts of the Far East that can host them."

Robertson was particularly impressed by Qatar's plans to dismantle stadiums and allow them to be transported to nations in need after the World Cup.

However, he said Qatar had to think very carefully about whether to switch the tournament to the winter.

"You are faced with the stark choice of an awful lot of air cooling or moving it to the temperate winter months, which is maybe better for the fans and players," he said.

"But that would have serious implications for the European football calendar. All this has done is bring into very sharp focus the challenges and pay-offs if you are going to carry out the desire to see major events in places like this."

Robertson dismissed suggestions, however, that Qatar was too small as well as too hot.

"Of the many things that might worry you, that is not one of them," he said.

"The Olympics is now 28 simultaneous world championships in one capital city. It's not a genuine problem."

With the specifics of the annual £125million funding package to UK Sport to be announced next week to cover the next four years, Robertson admitted there will be sports whose budget will be increased and those who under-performed and will suffer a cut.

"UK Sport have sat down with all the Olympic sports bar the two they don't fund - and have made their decisions," he said.

Earlier, Robertson told delegates it was too early to say exactly what the legacy from London 2012 would be.

"Some areas are pretty well defined; cycling, for instance, has completely taken off. But whether we succeed with the aim of producing a long-term increase in participation we can only judge in a couple of years' time."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Footer 365

Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich: Lionel Messi double puts Barca in control

Two goals from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona beat Bayern Munich 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Graham Taylor rejects claims he was asked to cap number of black players in England side

Graham Taylor has denied claims that the Football Association tried to cap the number of black players when he was in charge of the England team.

Spanish football could be shut down from May 16 over TV rights argument

La Liga faces being shut down from May 16 over an argument between Spain's football federation and the Government.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company