FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he does not believe the diplomatic crisis involving 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar will threaten its hosting of the tournament.
In an interview published in Swiss newspapers Le Matin Dimanche and Sonntagszeitung on Sunday, Infantino said he expects the diplomatic situation to revert back to normal by the time the tournament is played in five and a half years time.
Asked if he believed that Qatar's hosting was in danger, Infantino replied: "No. In any case, I am not in the habit of speculating and I'm not going to this time either."
Infantino said that FIFA was watching the situation and was in regular contact with the Qatari authorities.
"The essential role of FIFA, as I understand it, is to deal with football and not to interfere in geopolitics," he said.
Qatar will be hosting World Cup between the 21 November – 18 December 2022 and is scheduled to host multiple events across different sports in the lead-up to the tournament.
This year it is organising 72 events, 39 of which will be international competitions.
It has already hosted the 10th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup and an IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, and a FINA Swimming World Cup is scheduled for September.
The tiny gas-rich emirate is at the centre of the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf in years.
Qatar has been isolated for the past one week by neighbouring states over her alleged role in abetting terrorism.
Several Gulf states last week announced a boycott of Qatar, some of them severed diplomatic ties, apparently over the latter’s