Qataris have made a point of saying that the vast construction project for the World Cup has been unaffected by the blockade. AFP / Thomas Samson
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If world football's transfer record is obliterated by Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain, it will be a coup for the French club – and the tiny oil-rich emirate of Qatar. By signing the Brazilian star for its flagship sporting asset, Qatar would be projecting a business-as-usual image to foreign allies and investors after two months locked in a bitter diplomatic dispute with its neighbors.Barcelona players Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba recently visited a football academy and greeted fans at a mall in the Qatari capital.The sports network is owned by Al-Jazeera, which was founded by Qatar's former emir and is one of the country's best-known international brands.Qatar hosted the 2006 Asian Games and the Asian Cup football finals in 2011, and stages annual tennis and motorcycle Grand Prix events.Barcelona enjoy the global stature and track record of success craved by PSG, who are yet to win European football's top Champions League title despite the lavish investment from Qatar Sports Investments.It will be through beIN that Neymar's matches from PSG are beamed onto screens across the Middle East if a transfer that would provide a potent example of Qatar's sporting firepower is completed.
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