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Qatari delight at historic award

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02 Dec 2010 19:30:59

Qatari delight at historic award

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad Al-Thani believes FIFA's decision to award the nation the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup marks a "milestone" for the sport in the Middle East.

Bids from the United States and Australia had been fancied to emerge as victors but FIFA president Sepp Blatter confirmed that the emirate had come out on top in the vote by the world governing body's 22-man executive committee.

"On behalf of millions of people living in the Middle East, thank you," said Al-Thani.

"Thank you for believing in us, thank you for having such bold vision. Thank you also for acknowledging this is the right time for the Middle East. We have a date with history which is summer 2022.

"We acknowledge there is a lot of work to do and we stand by our promise and we will honour the sacred trust given to us today. We will deliver with a lot of passion and we will make sure this is a milestone in the history of the Middle East and in the history of FIFA."

There had been concerns over staging the tournament in Qatar, especially as temperatures can rise to 50 degrees Celsius during the months of June and July.

But the bid team plan to control temperatures inside the grounds, which will be zero carbon emitting.

Qatar defeated the United States, who had former president Bill Clinton as honorary chairman to their bid and also enlisted the help of actor Morgan Freeman, in the final round of voting.

And US Soccer president Sunil Gulati told www.gousabid.com: "There's no way around it: I am disappointed.

"Millions of US soccer fans worked hard to bring the World Cup to our country. To come up short is very difficult to take."


PA

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