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Qatar and Russia dismiss World Cup host status concerns

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Qatar and Russia have both rejected claims they could be stripped of World Cup hosting rights amid an investigation into corruption surrounding the event’s awarding process

The Qatar 2022 and Russia 2018 tournaments will go-ahead according to representatives responding to FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s surprise resignation on Tuesday (2 June).

The high-profile departure followed a dawn raid last week where six FIFA officials were arrested concerning corruption allegations.

Commenting on Blatter’s resignation, English Football Association chair Greg Dyke said: ‘If I were Qatar right now I wouldn’t be feeling very comfortable.’

Bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups are now the focus of a criminal investigation by Swiss authorities on ‘suspicion of criminal mismanagement and of money laundering’.

However Qatar Football Association president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani responded: ‘We welcome the Office of the Swiss Attorney General conducting its own work into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.’

He added: ‘Dyke’s instinct to focus immediately on stripping Qatar of the World Cup speaks volumes on his views concerning what will be the first Fifa World Cup to take place in the Middle East.’

He continued: ‘We would urge Dyke to let the legal process take its course and concentrate on delivering his promise to build an England team capable of winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.’

According to The Financial Times, Russian Sports minister Vitaly Mutko commented: ‘The 2018 World Cup is in principle not a Russian project, it’s a product of Fifa. Russia offered its services and Fifa agreed.’

He continued: ‘There are no threats here, this is Fifa’s main event, and this is not the decision of one man but of the executive committee. There is no threat whatsoever.’

UK architects working on Qatar World Cup venues include Foster + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, Pattern Architects and Populous.

The country is investing around £130 billion in infrastructure for the tournament which will be held in November and December to avoid high summer temperatures.

Populous, Erick van Egeraat, Kisho Kurokawa, Wilmotte & Associés and Dexter Moren Associates are meanwile among architects working on Russia World Cup venues.

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