Qatar pulls out of special permits after Ebola outbreak

Qatar drops coronavirus restrictions just before World Cup

Rabaa Al-Ahmad, a Qatari police official, shows a World Cup football at a stadium in Doha, Qatar, on June 23, 2018. (Mohammad Elshamy / Reuters)

Qatar’s World Cup organizers withdrew the country from strict travel restrictions and mass gathering restrictions imposed after the 2014 Ebola outbreak, just hours before it would be hosting the football tournament.

The decision to lift the travel ban was made on Saturday, just before Qatar’s final group stage match in the competition, which kicked off on Monday. The soccer World Cup takes place in 12 stadiums run by the Qatari World Cup Committee.

Although the decision to leave the country was not announced in advance, there was widespread confusion over what the move would mean for a country that is already under quarantine. Some Qataris voiced support for the decision, while others questioned the need for such drastic measures.

“The main goal of the World Cup is to ensure the safety of its participants and visitors,” Marwan Barghouti, secretary general of the Qatari Football Association, said in a statement.

“The measures announced by FIFA for today’s match were adopted following a review of the situation, in line with the recommendations of the FIFA Emergency Committee,” Barghouti said.

Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup in June 2017, three months before the World Cup was due to kick off. The country is aiming to host the event in the year 2026 but has struggled to find new venues that fit the requirements.

Qatar’s decision to leave the list of countries that need special permits was expected to be greeted with relief among the teams competing in the tournament. But there was also concern about possible disruption to sporting events, including the opening ceremony this weekend, which is scheduled for July 7.

There was some confusion over what the decision means ahead of the final match on Monday, which will see the nation’s men’s national team take on hosts Brazil in the opening match of the soccer World Cup.

Under the final list of restrictions signed by FIFA and China in 2015, Qatar would have had to allow the tournament to take place “without any type of mass gatherings,” “without any type of travel restrictions,” and “without any type of restriction

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