Blatter: It may have been a mistake to award World Cup to Qatar

first_imgThe Fifa president concedes he knew it would be problematic to host the event in the summer and will meet with the organisation’s board in October to argue for a winter tournament.Fifa president Sepp Blatter has admitted that it may have been a mistake to give Qatar the World Cup in 2022, knowing full well that the tournament being played in the summer would cause serious problems.The Arab nation was awarded the event in 2010 but there have been significant concerns raised about players’ and supporters’ safety holding the event in summer months, when temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius.In February 2011, Blatter insisted that the 2022 tournament would be held in the summer but has had a change of heart and will make a proposal to Fifa’s Executive Committee in October to alter the dates of the event to the winter.When it was suggested to him that, at the time of bidding, he already knew that it would be impossible to host the World Cup in the summer in Qatar, Blatter told insideworldfootball: “That may well be so and it may well be that we made a mistake at the time.“After many discussions, deliberations and critical review of the entire matter, I came to the conclusion that playing the World Cup in the heat of Qatar’s summer was simply not a responsible thing to do – despite the fact that I know full well that Qatar has the means to develop the best cooling technology. “That is why I went public and suggested that the Fifa ExCo should review the period when the event shall be staged and see what consequences it would have to play in winter.”Key figures in the Premier League and Bundesliga chief Christian Seifert, as well as other European leagues, have raised concerns over the club calendar in Europe, which would face upheaval for three to four years should the change go ahead.Nevertheless, Blatter will go to Fifa’s board in early October to propose the event be changed to the winter.He continued: “We need to see whether the owner of the Fifa World Cup – Fifa – actually agrees with my recommendation, one that I shall table at the October 3-4 ExCo meeting, and whether it follows my advice to change the dates from summer to winter.“Once the Executive Committee of Fifa has agreed to that, we can take the next step, which will include a close look at the international calendar and establish what consequences the change would have. And we would naturally need to speak to and consult with all interested parties and stakeholders.” Blatter had previously said in July that he was confident that the move will be accepted. “The executive committee will certainly follow my proposal,” he declared. “Then we will have dealt with it for good.”last_img read more