Qatar Won’t Host World Cup, Says FIFA Official

A member of FIFA's inner circle says Qatar won't be hosting the 2022 World Cup after all.

A member of FIFA’s inner circle says Qatar won’t be hosting the 2022 World Cup after all.

Reuters (“Qatar will not host World Cup: FIFA official“):

The 2022 World Cup will not be held in Qatar because of the scorching temperatures in the Middle East country, FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger said on Monday.

“I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar,” the German told Sport Bild on Monday.

“Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions,” the former German football (DFB) chief, who is now a member of the world soccer’s governing body FIFA that awarded the tournament to Qatar in 2010.

Although wealthy Qatar has insisted that a summer World Cup is viable thanks to cooling technologies it is developing for stadiums, training areas and fan zones, there is still widespread concern over the health of the players and visiting supporters.

“They may be able to cool the stadiums but a World Cup does not take place only there,” Zwanziger said.

“Fans from around the world will be coming and traveling in this heat and the first life-threatening case will trigger an investigation by a state prosecutor.

“That is not something that FIFA Exco members want to answer for.”

FIFA officials, contacted by Reuters, said Zwanziger was not giving the view of the all powerful Executive Committee.

“He is expressing a personal opinion and he explicitly says so,” FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said. “We will not comment on a personal opinion.”

This strikes me as both a trial balloon and a foreshadowing of the inevitable. It simply makes no sense to host the World Cup in 120-degree heat—or to screw up the schedules of the various professional leagues for weeks to hold the event during the cooler months. Then again, that was obvious when Qatar was picked to begin with.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. J-Dub says:

    It must be the heat, because nobody knew that it was hot in Qatar. Can’t have anything to do with the fact that they are building the stadiums with what amounts to slave labor.

  2. Gavrilo says:

    Do the FIFA executives have to give back all the bribe money they took?

  3. CB says:

    So all of those migrant workers died building ultimately useless stadiums?

    Good job, FIFA, you morally repugnant scum suckers.

  4. Barry says:

    @J-Dub: “Can’t have anything to do with the fact that they are building the stadiums with what amounts to slave labor.”

    I’m wondering when people will look at FIFA the way they are beginning to look at the NFL, and the Olympics.

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Gavrilo:

    I’m thinking this is simply a ploy by FIFA for a larger bribe.

  6. PJ says:

    @Barry:

    I’m wondering when people will look at FIFA the way they are beginning to look at the NFL, and the Olympics.

    I’d argue that people have been doing that for quite a while. also, I don’t think I would put the NFL in the same group as FIFA and the IOC, the NFL is a different kind of monster.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Do the FIFA executives have to give back all the bribe money they took?

    No, they probably don’t have to return the bribe deposit money. Also, it’s unclear that Qatar officials even consider the bribe deposit amounts to be material.

    FIFA officials will be able to collect new bribes deposits during the round when the next group of countries steps forward to take it on.

    FIFA is “The Man.”

  8. Andre Kenji says:

    @Barry:

    I’m wondering when people will look at FIFA the way they are beginning to look at the NFL, and the Olympics.

    FIFA was never particularly popular among soccer fans, it was always known as a extremely corrupt organization. Joao Havelange, their former president, was once involved with arms smuggling to Africa.

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