After Russia, focus shifts on Qatar for World Cup 2022

The official World Cup Russia 2018 ball handed over to Qatar

The official World Cup Russia 2018 ball handed over to Qatar

Following a successful World Cup 2018 in Russian Federation, and one of the most exciting finals in recent history, the focus has now shifted to Qatar which will become the first country in the Middle East to host football's biggest tournament in 2022.

"Russia is handing over the relay baton for hosting the FIFA World Cup to Qatar", said Putin as he handed the official ball to FIFA President Gianni Infantino before it was passed onto Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The controversial decision to switch the World Cup to cooler months later in the year, because of the soaring summer temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celcius on the Persian Gulf peninsula, means the entire football calendar has to be rearranged, disrupting many domestic club seasons.

"During the World Cup nearly 25 million cyber-attacks and other criminal attempts on Russia's information infrastructure, connected in one way or another to the running of the football World Cup, were neutralised", the president is quoted in a transcript of a meeting with security forces published Monday.

"We are proud of what we did for fans of this wonderful sport".

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A view shows the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. While everyone else got drenched, Putin was saved by the rains thanks to his aide - who sheltered him using an umbrella.

"We are, of course, ready to share the experience we acquired in hosting the World Cup this year along with our friends, '' the Russian President said". The emir said through a translator that the World Cup "will be a huge and great festival for all our country".

"We hope to overcome all the difficulties", he said. Hosts Qatar will be given an automatic place, so competing in the World Cup finals for the first time.

He added that the Qatar National Team would surpass the success of the Russian National Team, by exceeding the quarter-final stage.

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