2022 World Cup head says Qatar doesn’t support terrorism

AP Photo / Rob Harris

SHEFFIELD, England (AP) The organizers of the 2022 World Cup have a message for Germany’s soccer leadership ahead of a meeting on Friday: Qatar does not support terrorism.

While discussing Qatar’s right to host the FIFA showpiece, German soccer federation president Reinhard Grindel said earlier this year that tournaments “cannot be played in countries that actively support terror.”

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When Germany plays England at Wembley Stadium on Friday, Grindel is due to come face-to-face with Hassan Al Thawadi, general secretary of Qatar’s World Cup organizing committee.

Al Thawadi told The Associated Press on Thursday that “Qatar does not support terrorism. Qatar is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.”

Al Thawadi maintains he has a “great relationship with Grindel,” whose comments about Qatar came after neighboring Middle East countries had severed ties, accusing it of funding extremists.