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Federation Internationale de Football Association removes Qatari referee from World Cup qualifier at UAE's request

12 June, 2017, 14:39 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Diplomatic crisis in Qatar will not affect 2022 World Cup insists FIFA chief Gianni Infantino

Seven countries, including the UAE, had cut diplomatic ties with Qatar last week, accusing the country of funding terrorism and supporting Israel.

FIFA said the decision, which came hours after FIFA president Gianni Infantino said football's governing body should not "interfere in geopolitics", was taken considering the geopolitical situation in the Gulf region.

Singaporean referee Taqi Jahari has been selected by Federation Internationale de Football Association to replace a Qatari referee for Tuesday's (Jun 13) World Cup qualifier between Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"We are indeed facing a diplomatic crisis", Infantino said. Obviously, if football can make a small contribution, in any way.

Qatar has since denied the allegations, but relations between the host of nations have remained frosty, prompting the request for a change in officiating presence. The trio also ordered all the Qatari nationals to leave their land.

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In addition, restrictions have been placed on shipping vessels moving through the Persian Gulf, and any Saudi, UAE or Bahraini national posting support for Qatar on social media face lengthy jail terms and a large fine.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are also punishing those who are caught watching Al-Jazeera, serving them notices to heavy fines, as high as $2700 for commercial markets and residential areas and $2600 for hotels and tourist destination.

Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have accused the Gulf monarchy of mistreating foreign workers.

Construction is still underway to prepare Qatar for the 2022 World Cup (AFP).

But he stressed that Qatar's World Cup was five years away.

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