FIFA have claimed they are “in regular contact” with the Organizing Committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after a number of countries severed diplomatic ties with the country today.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar after accusing the nation of supporting terrorism, a claim they have denied.
Yemen, Libya and The Maldives followed suit in a move which casts doubt on claims from organizers that hosting the tournament in Qatar will help unite the region.
According to the BBC, Qatar labelled the decision from the seven countries as “unjustified” and with “no basis in fact”.
The move could impact preparations for the tournament, although it comes five years before the event is due to take place.
“FIFA is in regular contact with the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” FIFA said in a short statement.
“We have no further comments for the time being.”
The Saudi state news agency SPA reported that the country had cut land, air and sea contact with Qatar, while the UAE and Egypt have given Qatari diplomats residing in their countries 48 hours to leave.
Airlines such as EgyptAir, Etihad Airways and Emirates have cancelled flights to and from the Qatari capital.
The decision comes amid deepening tension in the region, which had surfaced as early as 2014 and has hit breaking point in recent weeks.
In a statement, the Saudi Arabian Government accused Qatar of “grave violations, both in secret and in public.”
This included “instigating against the State, infringing on its sovereignty, adopting various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region including the Muslim Brotherhood Group, ISIS and Al-Qaeda.”
They also claimed Qatar was “promoting the ethics and plans of these groups through its media permanently, supporting the activities of Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the governorate of Qatif of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain and financing, adopting and sheltering extremists who seek to undermine the stability and unity of the homeland at home and abroad.”
insidethegames has contacted Qatar 2022 for comment.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.