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By Agence France-Presse

Qatar is considering offering offers from other countries to host the World Cup in 2022, but no decision has yet been made, the organizing committee chief said Monday.

Hassan Al Tawadi's suggestion that some teams at the World Cup 2022 could be based in Iran are likely to be controversial (AFP / File / SAJJAD HUSSAIN / MANILA BULLETIN)

Hassan Al Tawadi's suggestion that some teams at the World Cup 2022 could be based in Iran are likely to be controversial (AFP / File / SAJJAD HUSSAIN / MANILA BULLETIN)

Iran has recently offered hostages that play in small Qatar in the World Cup, starting in just over four years.

When asked about what could be based in Iran, chief organizer Hassan Al Thawadi said that Qatar had received "many proposals from countries regarding host teams" around the time of the tournament.

"This is part of the business plan, but it must of course happen with FIFA," he said.

"There is nothing determined in this matter and it is still under discussion."

A step towards accepting Iran's offer would make a huge increase for the Islamic Republic at a time when the United States is trying to isolate the country internationally.

It can also be controversial in the bay.

Since 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt have introduced a sweeping embargo on Qatar, with its single allies accusing it of seeking closer ties with Iran and supporting radical Islamic groups.

Qatar denies the charges and accuses its neighbors to seek regimens.

Al Thawadi said he hoped that Qatar's neighbors would lift a ban on their citizens visiting Qatar in time for World Cup, starting November 21, 2022.

The country's original pitch in its bid to host the tournament included plans to use facilities elsewhere in the Gulf.

"I hope the blocking nations can see the value of this big tournament and can let their people benefit from this tournament," he said.

Asked if Qatar was prepared to increase the number of teams at Qatar World Cup to 48, according to FIFA, Al Thawadi said he was still planning for the usual 32 figure.

"Our preparations right now are for 32 teams, the current format. All preparations are ongoing based on it," he says.

"There is a feasibility study right now for a 48 contest and then a decision will be taken both by FIFA and ourselves as a host nation," he added.

To accommodate another 16 teams would very complicate Qatar's task of preparing for the World Cup, awarded to the Small Desert State of 2010.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino last week wrote every opportunity for a 48th tournament in 2022 and said it would be "a difficult challenge".


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