On his first full working day as FIFA president, Gianni Infantino has confirmed that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is not in question.
"Concerning Qatar and Russia, the decisions were taken in 2010 by the executive committee," FIFA's new Swiss-Italian president said, according to Arabian Business . "It’s now necessary to organize the best World Cup in history in Russia in 2018 and in 2022 in Qatar."
Qatar's bid to host the international sporting event has faced numerous controversies including accusations of corruption. Nonetheless, bribes and corruption charges have never been traced back to Qatar, despite intensive investigations.
Infantino takes power nearly a year after several high-ranking FIFA executives were formally charged with accepting bribes in a case unrelated to the Qatar allegations. Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter resigned over the ongoing controversy, making way for Infantino's rise to power.
Qatar's organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup welcomed Infantino to his new role with a statement.
"We wish President Infantino well in his new role and look forward to working closely with him as we continue our preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar," the committee said . "We would also like to commend the other four presidential candidates who contributed a great deal to an election campaign run during a crucial time for football. We wish all of them the greatest success and luck in their future careers."
Prince Ali of Jordan (president and founder of the West Asian Football Association) and Prince Salman Bin Ibrahim of Bahrain (chairman of the Asian Football Confederation Disciplinary Committee and Deputy Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee) were running against Infantino in the election held on Feb. 26. However, after two rounds of voting, Infantino was the clear winner, taking 115 votes to Prince Salman's 88 votes and Prince Ali's four.