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Hassan Al Thawadi: No discussions with Neymar over World Cup ambassadorial role

17:52 GMT 20/11/2017
Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain
The Brazilian star of PSG may not be named as one of the ambassadors of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, according to the head of preparations

Hassan Al Thawadi, the secretary general for the committee in charge of the 2022 World Cup, has denied reports that Neymar is in line to be an ambassador for the showpiece in Qatar.

PSG signed the Brazilian for a record €222 million from Barcelona, and the French club have been owned by the Qatar Investment Authoritiy (QIA) since 2011.

But while there have been suggestions that the Brazilian skipper will be the face of the World Cup in the Arab region, Al Thawadi played down their significance. 

“Let me tell you that PSG and Qatar’s World Cup are two independent projects. We are not interlinked," he said.

“With regards to Neymar being the brand ambassador, he is a big star and if he continues in this way he will be one of the biggest stars. However, currently there are no plans,” Al Thawadi said.

He further explained as to which qualities they look for when a legend is brought onboard. He cited the example of Xavi Hernandez, who currently plies his trade for Qatar’s Al Sadd club.

“Xavi is one of our ambassadors. We are in discussions with former and current players. However, it is important to point out that we are not just after the stars but for role models who represent the values we believe in.

“Xavi is the ambassador for Generation Amazing which is a football for development programme in remote areas. Apart from him being the greatest midfielder ever, he understands the power of football.

“Neymar is not part of the plan for now in future if he will be, that’s a discussion for the future.”