Qatar has come out strongly against criticisms of it hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup after comments this week by Emirati officials, saying that the tournament ''is not up for discussion or negotiation.''
The back-and-forth over the games comes as four Arab nations, including the United Arab Emirates, have been boycotting Qatar in part over allegations that it supports extremists and has overly warm ties to Iran. Qatar has long denied supporting extremists.
In a statement on Wednesday, Qatar's Government Communications Office says the Emirati comments on the World Cup show the boycott is ''founded on petty jealousy, not real concerns.''
It says: ''This demand is a clear attempt to undermine our independence.''
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE started boycotting Qatar on June 5.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)