World Cup: Qatar says it will struggle to repeat quarter-finalists Russia's on-pitch success

Fans holding up a "See you in Qatar" sign in reference to the next World Cup, in Moscow on July 14, 2018.
Fans holding up a "See you in Qatar" sign in reference to the next World Cup, in Moscow on July 14, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Qatar, next host of the football World Cup, will struggle to replicate the success of the Russian team on the pitch at this year's tournament because it is a small country, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said at a Kremlin ceremony on Sunday (July 15).

Russian President Vladimir Putin handed over the mantle of World Cup host to the Emir of Qatar, whose country will stage the 2022 edition of the tournament.

At a Kremlin ceremony, Mr Putin passed an official World Cup soccer ball to Gianni Infantino, head of world football's governing body Fifa, who then handed it on to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

He said Russia was proud of its achievements in hosting the World Cup, and would share its experience with Qatar. The tournament will end later on Sunday with the final between France and Croatia.

Belgium beat England 2-0 on Saturday for third place.