FIFA Regrets Awarding 2022 World Cup Hosting to Qatar
By Vittorio Hernandez | May 19, 2014 8:53 AM EST
A double whammy is hitting FIFA since two of the locations of the World Cup hosts are proving to be problems for the international football league.
Besides problems with four unfinished football stadiums in Brazil just a few weeks to the opening of the first games for the 2014 World Cup in June, FIFA is also having headaches with the venue for the 2022 World Cup.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter admitted on Friday that it was a mistake picking Qatar as host for the 2022 World Cup.
Blatter said, quoted by Swiss broadcaster RTS, "Yes, it was a mistake of course, but one makes lots of mistakes in life. The technical report into Qatar said clearly it was too hot but the executive committee - with a large majority - decided all the same to play it in Qatar."
Blatter reportedly was in favour of the U.S. hosting the 2022 World Cup, but UEFA's Michel Platini, allegedly his rival for the presidency as Blatter plans to run for another term as FIFA president in 2015, voted for Qatar.
Fourteen of the 22 FIFA voting members of the executive committee picked Qatar in December 2010 even if a FIFA inspection team classified the Middle Eastern country as high risk because of the extreme heat on summer.
While he said that political considerations were the basis in picking Qatar, Platini and those who voted for Qatar denied they were pressured by their heads to state for business reasons. Blatter pointed to France and Germany as having voted for Qatar for political reasons.
But the French foreign ministry called Blatter's statement without foundation although Platini had admitted that he attended a high-level meeting with the current Qatari emir and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Business Insider reports that many of the committee members who voted for Qatar have been banned for ethics breaches. The 10-year-old daughter of one committee member allegedly received $3.4 million after her father favoured Qatar.
Besides the extreme summer heat, Qatar is also having image problems since a new study commissioned by the government found that 1,000 migrant workers have died in 2012 and 2013 although the workers were not directly working on World Cup projects.
The alternative now is to hold the 2022 World Cup during winter.
Blatter has been FIFA president since 1998. When the international football organisation holds its election in May 2015, he will be 79 years old by then.
To contact the editor, e-mail: