Sepp Blatter has given the clearest indication yet that the World Cup in Qatar will be held in the winter for the first time area in a move that is sure to have serious implications for the credibility of FIFA.
“I expect it will be held in the winter,” Blatter said. “We have time to look at this question: it is still 11 years away, but we must decide the most adequate period for a successful World Cup, which means January or the end of the year.”
FIFA’s Executive Committee made the decision in December to take the World Cup to Qatar in a move that was predicted by this site. The decision was made despite the concern over temperatures that would not be conducive to football after Qatar promised to air-condition stadiums and training venues. Blatter and FIFA now believe that in order for Qatar to host the World Cup it must be moved to the winter in a move that goes against the entire history of the World Cup. Mr Blatter the World Cup is bigger than you, it is bigger than FIFA and it is not your personal plaything.
Blatter made this incredible statement:
“Although we have the basic conditions of their bid for a June and July World Cup, the Fifa executive committee is entitled to change anything that was in the bid,” he said.
“When you play football you have to protect the main people, the players.”
Changing the timing of the World Cup would be an unprecedented move and one that should shock soccer fans to the core. The World Cup has always been held in the summer to fit in with most leagues around the world. Most affected will be the European leagues which rather unsurprisingly is where most of FIFA’s money comes from. Despite this fact it is left to FIFA members from countries like Guatemala to make the most important decision in soccer.
Blatter has been accused by many of simply wanting to make money out of the World Cup which is why he chose Qatar. In a response that is sure to add further fuel to the flames he claimed last month:
“If we wanted to make money, we would have gone to the United States and not this country.”
The real question then is why did FIFA choose Qatar? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the fact that individuals are making money and not FIFA. When a decision that is worth billions to the host nation is decided by a chosen (unelected) few it is no surprise that rumours of collusion and corruption are rife especially when Qatar and Russia are chosen as hosts despite having the lowest ranked Technical bids.
In a further comment regarding the choice of Qatar Blatter ignores the fact that the Olympic version of FIFA the IOC ruled out the bid of Qatar for the 2020 Olympics based on such trivialities as the weather and the culture of the country.
“I understand that it may seem surprising, but we must not forget that they are making efforts and they have already hosted Fifa competitions.”
“With Qatar, we are opening football to a new world and a new culture,” he added. “The Arab world has tried several times, with Morocco and Egypt for example, to host the World Cup.”
Morocco and Egypt did indeed try to host the World Cup after Blatter had promised the World Cup to Africa in order to secure another term as President of FIFA. Whilst it is admirable to try and spread soccer to every corner of the planet the technical committee decreed that bringing the World Cup to Qatar would have no noticeable effect on the uptake of soccer in the area. Staggering.