FIFA have denied receiving a letter calling for Qatar to be stripped of the 2022 World Cup ©Getty Images

FIFA have denied receiving a letter from six countries calling for Qatar to be stripped of the 2022 World Cup.

The letter was reportedly sent to the governing body’s President Gianni Infantino by nations which have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ceased their relationship with the Gulf nation last month after accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

Yemen, Libya and The Maldives followed suit in a move which casts doubt on claims from organisers that hosting the tournament in Qatar will help unite the region.

The report appeared to have been published by Swiss website The Local claimed the nations, excluding Libya, had called for Qatar to be stripped of the tournament but this has been rejected by FIFA.

"The FIFA President has never received such a letter and subsequently has not done any comment on that," a FIFA spokesperson said, according to Reuters.

"As already said, FIFA is in regular contact with the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup."

The Local's co-founder James Savage later released a statement, where he revealed the story had originated on a fake website.

“Our investigation so far indicates the article appeared on a fake site designed to look like The Local, and never appeared on The Local's own site," Savage said. 

"There is no trace of it in our systems, nor any evidence that anyone tried to access our content management system.

"We naturally condemn in the strongest terms any attempt to abuse The Local’s brand to spread disinformation.”

The diplomatic crisis in the region has raised fears preparations for the tournament could be affected, although it comes five years before a ball is due to be kicked.

Airlines such as EgyptAir, Etihad Airways and Emirates have cancelled flights to and from the Qatari capital Doha.

The severing of diplomatic ties came amid deepening tension in the region, which surfaced as early as 2014 and has hit breaking point in recent weeks.

Saudi Arabia's Government has accused Qatar of "grave violations, both in secret and in public".

This included "instigating against the state, infringing on its sovereignty and adopting various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilising the region including the Muslim Brotherhood Group, ISIS and Al-Qaeda".

Qatar have rejected the allegations.

Seven countries have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar ©Getty Images
Seven countries have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar ©Getty Images

The Qatar 2022 World Cup was already controversial, with allegations of corruption during the bidding process.

Last month, the Garcia Report was released by FIFA, with the document clearing Qatar of any wrongdoing in their successful bid.

It concluded that there was no "evidence of any improper activity by the bid team".

The 430-page document, the contents of which have been the subject of speculation and rumour since Michael Garcia penned the report in 2014, did raise questions over the conduct of Qatar 2022 officials, however.

Those who wanted to bring the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar were accused of "seeking to undermine the integrity of the bidding process".

An extract relating to the Aspire Academy, Qatar's high-performance sports facility opened in Doha in 2004, reads: "At a minimum, the targeting of Aspire-related resources to curry favour with Executive Committee members created the appearance of impropriety."

Garcia also questioned the role of the Qatari Government in the lead-up to the December 2010 vote, where FIFA awarded both the 2018 and 2022 editions of the World Cup.

Russia will host the earlier edition.