World Cup 2022 ambassador tests positive for virus

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An ambassador for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the tournament’s organisers said on Thursday.

Retired Qatari midfielder Adel Khamis, 54, “was unfortunately diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19,” the Supreme Committee for the organisation of the 2022 tournament wrote in a tweet.

“We wish a speedy to all those affected.” The number of confirmed infections among those involved in construction for 2022 facilities stands at eight across three stadium projects, but organisers have not given an updated toll since April 17.

Qatar has reported 13,409 cases of COVID-19, 1,372 recoveries and 10 deaths.

Work on Qatar’s World Cup stadiums and mega-projects linked to the tournament has continued apace despite tough social distancing rules to stem the spread of coronavirus among the largely migrant workforce.

The supreme committee responsible for delivering the tournament said it “is reviewing the situation on a continuous basis and will take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of all construction workers and direct staff”.

Those measures “may include temporary suspension of work as and when required,” it added in a statement.

Khamis is one of the public faces of the 2022 tournament along with fellow ambassadors Tim Cahill of Australia and Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez.

Construction has continued through the health crisis even as non-essential retail has been halted and mosques, parks and restaurants have closed.

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