The diplomatic crisis unraveling in the Gulf region could revive a campaign by critics of Qatar to strip the country of the rights to the 2022 World Cup.

Hours after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen cut ties with Qatar on the grounds that Doha supported extremist groups, experts warned of threats to the 2022 World Cup.

The choice of Qatar to host the showpiece caused controversy with the country defending its stability in a volatile region.

Its pitch as one of the most stable countries in the region is shaky now as neighbours accuse it of funding terrorist groups “that aim to destabilise the region”.

In a statement FIFA said it was “in regular contact” with Qatar 2022 organisers and had “no further comments for the time being”.

Meanwhile, the crisis has claimed its first sporting victim. Saudi football club Al-Ahli announced “the termination of the sponsorship contract between the club and Qatar Airways”.

Suggestions have been made previously that the United States, one of the countries that lost the race for the 2022 competition to Qatar, could take over hosting duties if necessary.