Capitol Hill
World Cup Qatar is Safe for American Tourists, Congressmen say
Reps. Swallwell & Gallego met officials in Doha to discuss safety at FIFA World Cup

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) say World Cup Qatar will be safe next year for American tourists.

The two congressman - along with Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), and Lisa McClain (R-MI) - visited Doha from 29 March to 3 April for meetings relating U.S.-Qatari relations, including security at the FIFA World Cup next year, according to Congressional filings.

"Without going into anything that's classified," Gallego said when asked by LPO, "I'm talking to the sports minister and there is an international team that's teaming up with the Qatari minister of defense to make sure the Doha World Cup is safe; not just at the sites [of the World Cup matches] but in terms of potential attacks from overseas. "

"I was very impressed," Gallego added: "I think we're going to have a very safe World Cup. From everything I saw that day, I think we're going to have a World Cup that we should be worried about. "

Swalwell echoed Gallego's confidence in Americans' safety at World Cup next year, pointing out that Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is the largest US military base in the Middle East.

"They're hosting a major sporting event for the first time ever in the [Persian] Gulf," Swallwell told LPO, "and they're hosting, most-importantly, the Doha Talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban, so they're an important country right now. "

Both Swalwell and Gallego said that Covid 19 was not discussed in their Doha meetings about World Cup security. "When I was there, I guess the number of cases was still low," Swalwell said, "and I guess it spiked a couple of weeks after."

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