Qatar lodge FIFA World Cup bid

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke today welcomed a Qatari Football Association delegation, led by His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, the President of the country's 2018 and/or 2022 FIFA World CupTM finals Bid Committee.

The Qatari delegation were in Zurich to officially submit their bid to host the 2018 and/or 2022 FIFA World Cup finals, the deadline for which expires today. In accordance with FIFA regulations, the Qataris had declared their interest in staging the finals before 2 February, along with a number of other member associations: Australia, England, Belgium and the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, USA, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Korea Republic and Russia.

Aside from Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, who is the son of the Emir of Qatar, the Qatari delegation also comprised His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, the President of the Qatari FA, Hassan Al Thawadi, the CEO of the Bid Committee, and Dr Athanasios Batsilas, the Executive Director of the Qatari FA.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani thanked FIFA for welcoming him, while the FIFA President expressed his delight at the interest shown by the Qatari FA in organising the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.