Qatar's 2022 World Cup organizing chief Hassan Al-Thawadi says his defeat in an election to join the FIFA executive committee won't damage tournament preparations.
A seat on FIFA's decision-making board would have strengthened Qatar's ability to protect its interests ahead of the tournament, especially if the idea of moving to winter dates is discussed. However, Al-Thawadi says "it's not a blow at all" because "previously we didn't have members" on the 25-strong FIFA panel.
The Asian Football Confederation on Thursday voted for its newly elected president, Sheik Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, to also take the vacant FIFA spot ahead of Al Thawadi.
The elections formally replaced Mohamed bin Hammam, who FIFA first suspended in May 2011, six months after helping his native Qatar win 2022 hosting rights.
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