FIFA in ‘legal disputes’ with Qatar’s World Cup organisers – relations turn sour after ‘last-minute U-turn’

Lewis Oldham
FIFA in legal disputes

According to reports, FIFA are ’embroiled in a series of legal disputes’ with Qatar’s World Cup organisers and relations are now at an ‘all-time low’.

Given the controversy surrounding the World Cup in Qatar, the Middle East country will have hoped that the tournament could have gone off without a hitch.

Predictably, it did not take long for things to go awry. Before a ball was even kicked, it was announced that alcohol will not be sold in and around stadiums.

This change of policy came just 48 hours before the tournament got underway with Qatar’s opener against Ecuador.

This infuriated travelling supporters and the media. The problem is not so much that there was no alcohol being sold, it was more the deception from the World Cup organisers.

The cynical people among us may feel that Qatar never intended to sell alcohol around stadiums, but they said they would so fans across the globe would be given further reason to come to the tournament.

Budweiser are one of FIFA’s chief sponsors and they have rightly been angered more than most by this ‘last-minute U-turn’.

The Daily Mail are reporting that ‘several legal letters’ have been sent by FIFA to Qatar’s Supreme Committee’.

They are in relation to ‘contractual issues that have arisen before and during the tournament’. It is also said that this will ‘boil down to a battle over financial liability’.

Budweiser being ‘owed compensation’ is one issue that needs to be addressed but the tournament organisers are yet to offer a ‘formal response’ to FIFA’s letters.

The report adds that the relationship between FIFA and the Supreme Committee is now at an ‘all-time low’.

The Daily Mail also point out that FIFA and the Supreme Committee gave contrasting responses to reports of a migrant worker dying while situated at Saudi Arabia’s base camp.

FIFA were ‘deeply saddened’ by the ‘tragedy’. But the response from Supreme Committee chief executive – Nasser Al Khater – was less empathetic.

‘”Death is a natural part of life, whether it’s at work, whether it’s in your sleep,” he said.

“We’re in the middle of a World Cup. And we have a successful World Cup. And this is something you want to talk about right now?”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has found himself in the headlines a lot in recent weeks.

On Friday, it was revealed that he failed to turn up to a meeting in Doha between Europe’s top clubs and FIFA so a key agreement was left unsigned. 

The plan was to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before the current deal expires on January 1.

Sources close to the situation were baffled that Infantino “went AWOL” but they are confident that a deal will be signed in due course.

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