Qatar Emir Transfers Power to Son; Sheikh Tamim Heads 2022 World Cup Board

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Sheikh Hamad with his wife Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned and FIFA president Sepp Blatter celebrate Qatar's 2022 success on 2 December 2010 (Getty)
(WFI) The Emir of Qatar today announced the hand over of power to his son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, throwing his chairmanship of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Board into doubt.

In an address to the nation on Qatari television, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said: “The time has come to turn a new leaf in the history of our nation, where a new generation steps forward to shoulder the responsibility with their dynamic potential and creative thoughts.

“I declare that I will hand over the reins of power to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and I am fully certain that he is up to the responsibility, deserving the confidence, capable of shouldering the responsibility and fulfilling the mission.”

Sheikh Hamad, whose personal worth is estimated at around $2.4bn, added: “I am fully certain that you will be his support as you has always been mine; simply for the reason that in our nation run deep between the ruler and his people pledges of alliance; deep solidarity; and profound originality, cemented by our deeprooted traditions and glorious history.”

Sheikh Tamim has been groomed for the job for many years. The second son of his father's second wife Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, he was named heir apparent in 2003.

It is unclear if the 33-year-old’s new responsibilities as Qatar’s ruler will force him step
Sheikh Tamim
down as chairman of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Board. But that scenario is a possibility.

Ministerial shake-ups are could come in the next few days, Al Jazeera reports.

Sheikh Tamim, who was graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, UK in 1998, is also an IOC member and heads his country’s national Olympic committee.

Whether he can maintain those positions is also in doubt.

His 61-year-old father, who has ruled the gas-rich nation since 1995, played a part in Qatar securing the 2022 World Cup.

On 2 December 2010, he was with the Qatar bid team in Zurich for the FIFA vote on the tournament hosts. His son, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, led the bid committee.

The Gulf nation upset the odds by beating rivals Australia, Korea Republic, Japan and USA for the hosting rights.

Several African FIFA ExCo members were engulfed in bribery allegations linked to the Qatari bid. The whistleblower who worked for the bid, later retracted her story, claiming it was all "fabricated" and aimed at hurting the desert nation’s campaign.

By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson

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