Five Arab countries—Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen—have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, cut off all travel to and from the country, and ordered their citizens to leave the country. According to the BBC, the countries have accused Qatar of destabilizing the region and backing ISIS militants, which Qatar denies.
Qatar is home to the al-Udeid Air Base, the U.S. military base that controls the airstrike campaign against ISIS. The fracture between the countries, all of whom are close U.S. allies, is troubling for the security of the region, but also raises questions about how the country will continue preparations for the 2022 World Cup, which has already been deadly and fraught. One issue that would be of particular concern is that Qatar imports most of its food, and about 40 percent of it comes from Saudi Arabia, as reported by the New York Times.
FIFA has said little about the crisis. According to ESPN FC:
FIFA issued a short statement on Monday saying it spoke with “the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
FIFA added: “We have no further comments for the time being.”
Paul Hughes, the head, as was last known, of international media relations for the Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy, the organization overseeing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, did not answer a request for comment.