'No wrongdoing' in 2022 World Cup bid, says Qatari FM
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Qatar's foreign minister spoke to FRANCE 24 about the controversial hosting of the 2022 World Cup amid corruption allegations. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah also talked about Qatar's influence on the situation in Syria and Iraq and the fate of the Taliban Five.
Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah spoke to FRANCE 24's Douglas Herbert in Paris. Amid the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal, he denied allegations that Qatar bribed FIFA officials to secure the 2022 World Cup.
"The Qatari file was by far the best file among the competitors. We are confident that there is no wrongdoing whatsoever," he said.
Al Attiyah accuses Qatar’s detractors of "prejudice". "Some entities, some countries, don’t like to see an Arab state in the Middle East hosting a tournament as such for the Arab world. A time will come when we will show whoever worked against Qatar in prejudice to strip this tournament from us,” he said.
'Qatar does not deal with ISIL or al Nusra'
The Qatari foreign minister, who was in Paris for the meeting of the coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, denied that Qatar supports jihadists fighting in Iraq and Syria. "Qatar does not deal with ISIL (the Islamic State group) or Al-Nosra (the al-Nusra Front)," he said. "Islam "is a peaceful religion" and terrorism "has nothing to do with Islam".
Asked about the fate of five former Taliban Guantanamo detainees who have returned to Qatar and whose travel ban has expired, Al Attiyah said that no agreement has been reached to extend their stay or to send them back, but that talks were taking place “between Qatar, the US, and part of the Taliban".