Top FIFA officials ‘are told their luxury hotel in Qatar ISN’T READY’ in the latest embarrassment for World Cup hosts – leaving the fat cats to switch to a dry hotel with NO free champagne
Qatar’s World Cup organisers have reportedly been left red-faced after a luxury five-star hotel due to house FIFA executives wasn’t finished on time.
The waterfront accommodation, which boasted interiors inspired by superyachts and one of the world’s largest chandeliers, was set to provide the FIFA elite with the finer things they have become accustomed to.
However, according to the New York Times, the executives were informed a few days before their arrival in Qatar that they would initially be staying somewhere else.
The intended accommodation will apparently be ready soon, with the FIFA party relocated to another hotel with views over the Persian Gulf and a private beach. They were the first guests to stay there.
The Qatar Supreme Committee and FIFA declined to comment on the embarrassing situation to the New York Times. Qatar was awarded the competition some 12 years ago.
World Cup organisers were reportedly left red-faced when the luxury accommodation for high-ranking FIFA executives wasn’t completed in time for their arrival
Hotels have been springing up in the Qatari capital Doha with thousands of visitors expected
The Supreme Committee was responsible for providing not only the eight stadiums that will host the 64 matches of the tournament but also training bases for each of the 32 teams.
In addition, thousands of rooms of hotel accommodation are needed for fans, sponsors and media visiting Qatar for the tournament, which gets underway on Sunday.
The visiting officials will have use of the exclusive FIFA Club during the World Cup, a private area featuring unlimited supplies of fine food and drinks – but only when they get into their intended hotel as the temporary one doesn’t have these facilities.
It comes as the Qatari royal family are pressuring FIFA into a total ban on selling alcohol at the World Cup stadiums – just two days before the big kick-off.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino pictured in Qatar ahead of the start of the World Cup on Sunday – it is not clear if he was one of the top officials whose hotel was changed
In Qatar, an Islamic nation, alcohol sales are typically restricted to foreigners drinking in licensed hotels and restaurants, or non-muslin residents with special permits for their homes.
If the U-turn goes ahead, it will mean Budweiser – one of the World Cup’s most prominent sponsors – will be unable to sell its beer to fans at games and could lead to legal action.
The New York Times said the intervention was made by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the brother of Qatar’s ruler.
As things stands, fans can buy alcohol in hotels and restaurants, in fan zone at certain times and on stadiums concourses – but not inside.
Construction has continued on infrastructure right up to the beginning of the tournament
Qatar are pressuring FIFA into applying a ban on selling alcohol inside World Cup venues
Brian being handed the first beer served at the 2022 Qatar World Cup at the FIFA Fan Festival in Doha’s Al Bidda Park
It will be costly, however, with a pint of Budweiser costing almost £12 at official venues, with fans limited to four drinks to stop drunkenness.
Qatar has already come under severe scrutiny over its treatment of migrant workers – mainly from the Asian subcontinent – during the construction of the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure.
A report by the Guardian last year said 6,500 workers had died in Qatar since the country was awarded the World Cup in December 2010.
Meanwhile, Gianni Infantino is set to win a new term as FIFA President after securing the backing of 200 out of the governing body’s 209 member associations, having stood unopposed in the leadership race.