DOHA, Qatar (AP) — FIFA president Sepp Blatter says the Arab world deserves to stage a World Cup, boosting Qatar's bid to host the tournament in 2022.

Blatter, in Doha to meet with Qatar's soccer officials, praised the bid's infrastructure on Saturday. He says the government's successful hosting of the 2006 Asian Games showed it was capable of organizing big international events.

He was careful not to openly endorse the Qatar bid, saying there was a long way to go before the hosts for 2018 and 2022 would be announced in December.

Qatar is among nine countries vying for the 2022 World Cup. Along with South Korea, Qatar has applied for the 2022 tournament. The seven other candidates are bidding for either the 2018 or 2022 competitions.