Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday handed over the mantle of World Cup host to the emir of Qatar, whose nation will stage the 2022 version of the match.

The ceremony marked a handover from the world’s largest nation by landmass to one of many smallest. Qatar has a inhabitants of two.three million individuals and an space barely smaller than the U.S. state of Connecticut.

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Qatar’s dimension, in addition to its broiling temperatures and its lack of prepared stadium infra-structure, have prompted some to query the choice by FIFA, soccer’s world governing physique, to make it host. Qatar’s rulers say they’ll rise to the problem.

With hours to go till the ultimate between France and Croatia that may convey down the curtain on Russia’s internet hosting of this yr’s match, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani joined Putin and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino at a Kremlin ceremony.

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“Russia is handing over the relay baton for internet hosting the FIFA World Cup to Qatar,” Putin stated.

“We’re pleased with what we did for followers of this excellent sport. We ourselves, the entire nation, obtained an infinite quantity of enjoyment from interacting with soccer, with the world of soccer, with the followers who got here right here from everywhere in the globe.”

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“I’m certain that our mates from Qatar will be capable of host the 2022 FIFA World Cup on the identical excessive degree. We’re, in fact, able to share the expertise we acquired in holding the World Cup this yr, together with our mates,” Putin stated.

On the climax of the ceremony, Putin handed an official World Cup ball to Infantino, who then handed it on to the emir.

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The Qatari emir stated his nation would apply all its efforts to creating a hit of the 2022 World Cup. “We hope to beat all of the difficulties,” he stated.

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He stated his nation would additionally attempt to outdo the success on the pitch of the Russian staff, who surpassed expectations by reaching the quarter-finals.

“Though it will likely be laborious to repeat that success as we’re a small nation, however we’re very eager on sport,” he stated.

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Within the build-up to this yr’s World Cup, some Western politicians known as for a boycott over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and over allegations, denied by Moscow, that the Kremlin assassinates its opponents abroad.

There have been additionally warnings from some marketing campaign teams in regards to the potential for hooligan violence, racist assaults and homophobia.

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The match proceeded with none important organizational hitches, there was no violence, and no widespread proof of racism or harassment of homosexual guests.

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