Emir insists Qatar will be ready
The emir of Qatar has confronted criticisms of the country's preparations for the 2022 World Cup by insisting it will be a success.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani succeeded his father last year and has taken a personal interest in the delivery of a tournament that has been shrouded by claims of corruption, dangerous working conditions and safety concerns over extreme heat should a summer schedule go ahead.
He has now addressed all three issues, defending Qatar's World Cup ambition. Touching on ethical worries over the bidding process that saw Qatar surprisingly awarded competition, he suggested there were other reasons behind the widespread scepticism.
"People should understand that Qatar had the best bid, and Qatar will provide and will do one of the best World Cups in history," he told CNN.
"I'm sure about that. People don't want to accept, don't want to realise that a small country, Arab, Muslim country, can host a big event like that."
The emir admitted to setbacks in the development work that, according to the International Trade Union Confederation has already cost 1,000 migrant worker lives, but claimed new legal frameworks have been introduced to improve the situation on the ground.
"Yes, it's true we had problems, (but) we're solving the problems. We're enforcing the laws - it's not acceptable," he said.
"We changed the laws. They are enforced and there are many laws that have been changed. And I'm telling you because I am personally hurt about the situation.
"All the media is concentrating on Qatar due to the World Cup. If we have problems I don't mind the talking about problems. But also we need to talk other - about other things, about those laws that we did (enforce)."
The emir spoke in definitive terms about the air conditioning system being worked on to ensure all stadia remain at safe temperatures for players and spectators, if the tournament goes ahead in the summer.
He added: "Our bid was for it to be in summer. At the end, it's up to the FIFA to decide when is the best time. We're ready for both.
"We have this (cooling) technology for 10 years now and it's working in one of our stadiums. One hundred percent it will be working (by 2022)."