Zidane named Qatar’s World Cup bid ambassador

Qatar: Former France midfielder Zinedine Zidane has been appointed ambassador for Qatar’s attempt to host the 2022 World Cup, said the Gulf Arab state’s bid committee.

Qatar’s bid is one of nine for the finals but their main opposition is likely to come from Australia, Japan, South Korea and United States.

“Football is for everyone,” Zidane said in a statement. “When I think of all the youth of the Middle East, what they’re missing is an event like the World Cup.

“We had [the 2010 World Cup] in Africa and now it is time for the Middle East.”

It is almost certain one of the four European bids from England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands will win the right to stage the 2018 World Cup, meaning a country from outside Europe will stage the 2022 finals.

Qatar would be the smallest host country since Uruguay held the inaugural tournament in 1930.

The head of a FIFA inspection team hinted on Thursday the Gulf Arab state’s size, rather than its fierce summer heat or the fact it is an Islamic country, could rule it out of contention though.

FIFA will announce the venues for 2018 and 2022 in Zurich on Dec. 2.

Bureau Report

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