The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has denied reports about a request by six Arab countries to strip Qatar from the 2022 World Cup.
A news story that appeared on the Swiss website “The Local” on Saturday said the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and Mauritania have asked the world’s football governing body to strip Qatar from 2022 World Cup.
These countries “have not asked FIFA to remove Qatar as hosts of the World Cup”, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told a seminar held by the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).
The Local has denied the report, saying it was a copycat website and it “neither wrote, posted nor removed that article”.
FIFA also denied receiving any request from the six countries for removing Qatar as World Cup hosts.
“The FIFA president has never received such a letter and he has not made any comment on that”, a FIFA spokesman said.
Last month, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a sea and land blockade on it, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
Doha, for its part, denies the accusation, saying the blockade was in violation of international law.