Feb 9 (Reuters) - Qatar will make another attempt to get an official elected onto FIFA’s all-powerful executive committee ahead of their hosting of the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar Football Association vice-president Saud Al Mohannadi has announced plans to stand in April elections for the role and also that of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice president.
Al Mohannadi’s candidacy follows the failed bid of Hassan Al Thawadi to be elected on to the world governing body’s executive committee in 2013.
Al Thawadi was beaten 28-18 in a head-to-head vote with Bahrain’s Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, who was also elected AFC President.
Qatar have suffered relentless criticism since being awarded the right to host the World Cup for the first time in a 2010 vote and having a voice at FIFA’s top table could help quieten the backlash.
The dates of the tournament remain undecided, with FIFA considering a range of options because of concerns about the searing temperatures in Qatar in June and July, when the World Cup is traditionally held.
Gas-rich Qatar has also come under pressure over foreign workers’ rights as well as accusations that corruption played a part in winning the right to host the World Cup.
Qatar has strongly denied the allegations.
The QFA said Al Mohannadi, previously their general secretary, had “enjoyed decades of association with football in various capacities” and completed his application before Wednesday’s deadline.
Japan Football Association Vice President Kozo Tashima and Malaysian Football President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah have already announced plans to run for the executive committee.
Al-Khalifa, Thailand’s Worawi Makudi, China’s Zhang Jilong and Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, who is running for the FIFA presidency later this year, are the AFC’s current representatives on the FIFA Exco. (Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Julian Linden)