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Qatar urges Gulf neighbors to let nationals attend 2022 soccer World Cup

FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari/File Photo

DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar is urging the four countries imposing a diplomatic and trade boycott against it to allow their nationals to attend the World Cup in Doha in 2022, a senior Qatari organizer said on Monday.

“We separate politics from sports,” Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, told reporters in Doha.

The committee is responsible for planning and operations for the tournament.

“We hope that the blockading nations see reason in this matter and allow for their people to be able to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut diplomatic, transport and trade ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of financing terrorism. Doha denies the charges.

Doha has had to find new suppliers of construction materials for its World Cup projects since the boycott was imposed, but the timeline for those projects has not changed, said Thawadi.

“Our plans are put in place, alternative supply chains are put in place and the projects are continuing on schedule and on cost,” he said.

Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh, Writing by Katie Paul; Editing by Richard Balmforth