Amnesty International has told Fifa that any move to expand the 2022 World Cup into Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must come with a call for both countries to improve their human rights records. Earlier this year, Fifa president Gianni Infantino announced he wanted to explore the possibility of expanding the 2022 World Cup from 32 teams to 48, as has already been decided for the 2026 tournament, which will be hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. Speaking this week Infantino admitted a 48-team, 80-game tournament would almost certainly mean games being played outside Qatar, as it has only committed to building eight stadiums. The chances of Qatar agreeing to share its proudest moment, however, look remote, as it has been embroiled in a bitter diplomatic row with its neighbours, most notably Saudi Arabia and the UAE, since the summer of 2017. Somewhat optimistically, Infantino said: “Maybe football is a way to build bridges. “We have seen as well with the bidding for 2026, the right to organise the World Cup was awarded to three countries which I think also don’t have the very best political or diplomatic relationships. But football makes miracles, as we know.”… Read full this story
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