English soccer’s Football Association (FA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Qatar Football Association ahead of the gulf state hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
The knowledge-sharing deal, which was signed by FA chairman Greg Clarke in the Qatari capital of Doha on Wednesday, will see the two countries share ideas about soccer development, grassroots soccer, youth development, women’s soccer, player performance and management and administration.
The FA also said that both nations will explore the possibility of organising friendly fixtures between their national teams across different age groups.
“The FA is pleased to commit to this knowledge-sharing partnership with the Qatar Football Association,” said Clarke. “We have a long history of collaboration with various national associations to share knowledge and experience to support the development of football.
“For Qatar, developing the game across the country is a key objective as they approach the hosting of the Fifa World Cup in 2022.”
Ajay Sharma, the British ambassador to Qatar, added: “I am delighted that the English Football Association has signed MoUs with the Qatar Football Association and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy during the visit to Doha of the FA chairman, Greg Clarke.
“This will mark the beginning of even deeper cooperation between our two countries, and underlines the UK’s support for Qatar in delivering a successful World Cup 2022.”
Clarke’s stance is somewhat more relaxed than that of his predecessor Greg Dyke, who referred to the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup as “the worst moment in Fifa’s history”, and demanded the country be stripped of the hosting rights for the tournament if allegations of corruption were proved to be true.
However, Clarke is reportedly embarking on a worldwide tour of other Fifa member countries in an attempt to build bridges ahead of the FA’s mooted bid to host the World Cup in 2030. Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin recently said that European soccer’s governing body would back any bid made my England, who last hosted the tournament in 1966, when they beat West Germany 4-2 in the final to win the competition.