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 By PA Sport

England, Qatar associations to explore friendlies ahead of 2022 World Cup

The renovated Khalifa International Stadium is the first 2022 World Cup venue to open.

The Football Association has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Qatar Football Association to explore the possibility of arranging friendlies across age groups.

Three years after then-FA chairman Greg Dyke described Qatar being awarded the World Cup as "the worst moment in FIFA's history," his successor, Greg Clarke, was in Doha to forge links with the country.

"The FA is pleased to commit to this knowledge-sharing partnership with the Qatar Football Association," Clarke said. "We have a long history of collaboration with various national associations to share knowledge and experience to support the development of football.

"For Qatar, developing the game across the country is a key objective as they approach the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022."

Clarke also visited Khalifa International Stadium, which is the first ground to open that will be used for the World Cup.

Ajay Sharma, the British ambassador to Qatar, was also part of the touring party. He said he hopes the agreement will lead to further links between the two nations.

"This will mark the beginning of even deeper cooperation between our two countries, and underlines the UK's support for Qatar in delivering a successful World Cup 2022," Sharma said.

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