Fifa President Gianni Infantino congratulated Oman for winning the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup in Kuwait after concluding the Fifa executive committee meeting on Wednesday at Barr Al Jissah Hotel and Resort with the participation of 22 countries. “I congratulate Oman Football Association and the players for winning the Gulf Cup recently in Kuwait,” Infantino told reporters after the summit. Regarding Qatar World Cup 2022, the Fifa chief said “everything is on track.” “The competition is all clear and we hope it will be held with full cooperation and collaboration of the countries in the region.” Infantino said he was very pleased to see all the countries participate in the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup in Kuwait.
“I was there for the opening ceremony and I was very much pleased to see all the countries in the region take part in the prestigious tournament. It shows football can bring everyone together and rest of the topics we can leave it to the politics.”
On the Fifa meeting, he said there were representatives from all over the world and had a discussion about the future of Fifa’s competitions.
Regarding 2026 World Cup, Infantino said it will be a 48-team tournament.
“The bidding is going on for the event and Fifa congress will vote on to decide the hosts of the tournament.”
Other topic on discussion was developing new competitions for women’s football.
“We want to give emphasis to women’s football and we had talks on starting new leagues and official Fifa competitions for women’s football across the world.”
On a query on challenges faced by Fifa in promoting women’s football in Middle East, the Fifa president said he hope to make good improvement as there are Fifa programmes creating awareness on it.
“We are allocating specific funds for the purpose along with other initiatives.”
He said the another Fifa meeting will be held in Cambodia in two days’ time and the proposals of the Muscat meeting will be considered for approval after that.
The meeting discussed several aspects including the participation of members of the federations in the decisions of Fifa. It held talks on the programmes provided by Fifa and all aspects related to the transfer of players.
Oman Football Association (OFA) chairman Shaikh Salim bin Said al Wahaibi and other chairmen of federations across the world attended the summit.
Mentioning Russia World Cup 2018, Infantino said the country is ready for a “fantastic World Cup.”
“There will be some big names and teams missing, but that is football. Everything is in place for a wonderful soccer festival,” he added.
On a question why Oman was chosen for the meeting, pat came Infantino’s reply. “We want to celebrate Oman’s Gulf Cup win.” “Oman is also an important international hub. We have a football-loving people and it is a beautiful country,” he concluded.