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

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA top job

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Scottish football: Charlie Telfer upbeat over Dundee United's cup chances this season

Charlie Telfer believes he could end his first season at Dundee United with at least one cup winner's medal.

Capital One Cup: Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough hopes to upset Tottenham

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough is keen to cause another upset and beat Tottenham to the Capital One Cup final.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

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