World FIFA approve UAE request to remove Qatari referees

Qatar was controversially elected hosts of the 2022 World Cup by the ruling body Federation Internationale de Football Association, but Infantino said in an interview with Le Matin Dimanche he expected the crisis to be solved.

"At the moment, we are actually facing a diplomatic crisis in Qatar".

Federation Internationale de Football Association said in a statement to The Associated Press that "the decision has been taken for sporting reasons and in view of the current geopolitical situation".

World football's governing body FIFA on Sunday said it agreed to remove Qatari refereeing officials from managing a World Cup Qualifying match involving the United Arab Emirates. But on the other hand, I am confident that the region will return to a normalised situation.

Qatar, which is hosting the 2022 World Cup, was isolated earlier this week by four Gulf nations, including the UAE, who accuse it of funding terrorism.

The only country to share a land boundary with Qatar, Saudi Arabia shut its border and neighbouring UAE and Bahrain closed their airspace to flights to and from Doha.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have also banned the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel, punishing those are caught watching it with a $2,700 fine ($26,000 for hotels and other tourist destinations).

Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have accused the Gulf monarchy of mistreating foreign workers.

Infantino has been visiting South Korea since last week for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup final between England and Venezuela that was held on Sunday.

The World Cup preparations have also been criticised for inhumane working conditions and bad worker treatment to immigrant workers.

  • Zachary Reyes