Turki Al-Sheikh calls for Qatar to lose 2022 World Cup if found guilty of wrongdoing

The Qatar tournament has been dogged by corruption allegations ever since the Gulf state won the hosting rights in 2010
Updated 25 February 2018
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Turki Al-Sheikh calls for Qatar to lose 2022 World Cup if found guilty of wrongdoing

LONDON: The head of Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority has called for Qatar to be stripped of hosting the 2022 World Cup if found guilty of ethics violations relating to its winning the right to hold the showpiece.
Turki Al-Sheikh said in a statement via his Twitter account that while he did not want to see the Gulf state lose hosting rights the Qatari government should be punished if any wrongdoing is revealed.
“I do not wish for the World Cup to be withdrawn from Qatar by FIFA. However, if found guilty of any ethical violations, the Qatari government must accept the consequences of their actions,” Al-Sheikh said on the social media site.
He went on to say that if Qatar was punished, the hosting rights for the tournament should go to either England or the US.
“England is the birthplace of modern football. Its history and pedigree would make it a great host. The USA has tremendous experience in hosting global sporting events,” he added.
The 2022 event has been dogged by allegations of vote buying and other scandals ever since Qatar was announced as host back in 2010.

Al-Sheikh’s tweet comes a day after a report in Focus, a German magazine, that stated that FIFA is going to reconsider Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 edition and take a decision at the end of the summer.
Aside from allegations of corruption Qatar has been under fire for its treatment of builders working on half-completed stadiums, with unsafe conditions and low wages leading to numerous deaths and claims of modern-day slavery from human rights groups.

 


‘Not impossible’ that Formula E will overtake F1, says Felipe Massa ahead of Ad Diriyah race

Updated 15 December 2018
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‘Not impossible’ that Formula E will overtake F1, says Felipe Massa ahead of Ad Diriyah race

LONDON: Felipe Massa has acknowledged the possibility of Formula E becoming more popular than its more illustrious rival Formula One, ahead of his debut at the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia today.
The Brazilian ace swapped the roaring engines of F1 for the blistering battery power of Formula E this season, and told Arab News that the idea was not “impossible.”
“On overtaking, Formula 1, that’s a difficult question to answer. But what can I say, is that it’s not impossible. We just need to wait and see how things go, (whether) it is ‘when’ or ‘if,’ but it’s definitely not impossible,” he said.
“Formula E and electric cars are becoming ever-more present, but it will definitely be the future, even in the short-term future.
“It (the technology) has already arrived in some countries and will in other countries, too, it is the future. I think Formula E has used that mentality, even five years ago to build this (motorsport) category,” he added.
Massa, who raced for 15 seasons in Formula One and won 11 grands prix, was also positive about the potential of Formula E as it continues to expand after its inception in 2011 and inaugural season in 2014.
“It will take a little bit of time, it’s not easy to get things perfect straight away, but look at the past two years and how much the championship is growing.
“When I say growing, it’s not just with the quality of the drivers, but also with manufacturers’ teams and companies, who are really getting behind the sport.
“Look how many companies they are signing on as sponsors, on many different levels, even companies that sell fuel,” he said.
“We are even racing (this weekend) in a country known as an oil country. So, I think this shows how much this championship is growing.”
Massa also agreed with comments made by F1 director Ross Brawn, who recently said that the highest level of motorsport had become too predictable.
“Only certain racers can win in Formula One, but Formula E is unpredictable and a good example (of that) is that the winners in all past seasons have been different drivers,” he told Arab News.
The affable driver said he is relishing the new challenge that Formula E will pose to his skills and abilities, adding that with the exception of certain parts of the Monaco and Mexico circuits, each track will be new to him.
“I like a challenge, there is a lot to learn and a lot to test myself with and learning the car, working with the team,” he said.
“Even though I’m experienced in motorsport, with my 16 years in Formula One, this is a new test and I will have to start from zero.”
Meanwhile, defending Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne said hearing the words “world champion” after his name was “still cool.”
When asked about the challenge from teammate Andre Lotterer on the other side of the Techeetah garage, the Frenchman was full of praise for the German driver.
“He is absolutely one of the most talented drivers, and I expect him to be on the same level as I am and, for sure, it’s going to be a nice competition between us.
“It will be good for the team, as that will push everybody, and that is what we want as a team.”
The former F1 driver was complimentary about Formula E’s new “attack mode,” but voiced concerns about the danger the system posed to drivers on corners on the challenging Ad Diriyah circuit this weekend.