The Gulf state of Qatar is considering a bid to become the first Arab country to host the World Cup finals, the secretary-general of the Qatar Football Association, Saud al Mohannadi, said Tuesday.
He claimed that the state had "the means and the ability" to host the finals, either in 2018 or 2022, and that it would make a decision early next year. "We are interested and we believe we can successfully host such a prestigious event as the World Cup finals," Al Mohannadi told Reuters. "We have the stadiums and we have experience hosting top sports events. We don't want to rush into anything, we need to find out what the full requirements are, but we are interested."
FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently said the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 finals will be announced at the same time, with the bidding process for both to be launched in January and decided by December 2010. Countries interested in hosting include England, Netherlands, Australia, a joint Spanish-Portuguese bid, the United States, China, Mexico and Russia.