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.