Qatar official labels Van Gaal ignorant over World Cup criticisms

Louis van Gaal NetherlandsGetty Images

Qatar World Cup official Hassan Al Thawadi criticised Louis van Gaal for speaking out against the upcoming finals, suggesting that the Netherlands boss had no idea what the tournament meant for the nation and wider Arab region.

Van Gaal hit the headlines this week when he denounced as "ridiculous" the decision to move the World Cup to the Middle East.

But Al Thawadi contends that Qatar had as much right as any other footballing nation to be named as host.

What was said?

"First of all, let me say: for someone with years of experience, who understands how powerful football can be, it is ridiculous to make such a statement," Al Thawadi, whose position as Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Qatar involves preparing the nation's infrastructure for the upcoming finals, responded to beIN Sports.

"He probably hasn't made much effort to understand what football means for Qatar and the Arab world.

"He should take some time to see what the recent Arab Cup has meant for the people here. Then you see the passion in the Arab world, then you see what football means to us.

"It's not a ridiculous notion that an Arab nation hosts the World Cup."

What did Van Gaal say?

The ex-Ajax, Barcelona and Manchester United coach, who sealed the Oranje's place at Qatar last year, held nothing back when asked for his opinion on the location.

"I have already mentioned it in previous press conferences. I think it's ridiculous that the World Cup is there," he told reporters on Monday.

“We are playing in a country that FIFA says they want to develop football there. That's bulls*it, but it doesn't matter. It's about money, about commercial interests. That matters in FIFA.

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"Why do you think I'm not on any committee at FIFA or UEFA with my expertise? Because I have always opposed these kinds of organizations.

"I can say that in Qatar later, but that won't help the world get rid of this problem."

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