FIFA execs to vote against Qatar's summer World Cup: Blatter

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FIFA’s executive committee will vote to move the 2022 World Cup from Qatar’s summer heat, head of soccer’s world governing body Sepp Blatter has confirmed, but did not guaranteed moving the tournament to a winter date.

The comments on Sunday are the strongest indication yet that Qatar could lose the World Cup, with Blatter also conceding that it was a mistake to award a summer tournament to the desert state and that hosting it in winter may not be feasible.

“Those that have taken the decision at the time, they knew there is problems with the heat,” Blatter told AP.

“They knew it, because it was in the [bid evaluation] report. It was wrong to say, ‘now we have to play in summer,’ because in summer you cannot play there.

"Therefore the [executive committee] now shall take the decision - and they will take it - that in summer you can't play in Qatar."

The committee members, many of whom participated in the December 2010 vote to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar over the US, are due to make a decision on the timing of the month-long event during their next meeting in Zurich on October 3-4.

FIFA executive Theo Zwanziger already has described awarding the event to Qatar ‘a blatant mistake’.

“I would be very much surprised, more than surprised, if the [executive committee] will not accept the principle that you cannot play in summer in Qatar,” Blatter said.

“What will be following, this would be then decided later. We have to look on the international calendar. We have to look if and how it is possible, [if] we don’t play in summer, when is the best time to play in winter?”

Blatter said the committee would explore the possibility of switching to winter, with November or May being the most likely options, but it may prove unfeasible.

European championships and nations that lost the bid to host the Cup are likely to challenge any move to winter, potentially opening up expensive legal disputes.

The new chairman of the Football Association in England said earlier this month hosting a summer World Cup in Qatar would be "impossible".

Days later, Europe's five biggest football leagues backed a letter from the European Professional Football Leagues chairman to FIFA that protests against moving the tournament to winter.

Qatar has said it is developing air-conditioned stadiums but would also be open to moving the tournament to winter.

Blatter has previously said the stadiums would not be sufficient to protect fans attending parallel events and entertainment.

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Posted by: TTT

Hosting world cup in Qatar @ summer as well as in Winter is Impossible. As far as the infrastructure is concerned its a big Question mark ?..there are lot of things to do in this small time frame of 10 year. Now a days the traffic is very hectic and once all the projects are started it will become more hectic, it will effect the
Constructions while Carrying the goods. There are lot of projects
still not finished which were suppose to finish 2-3 years before. For example new Airport
and Also lot of other project which are in Pearl site.
And its not the case of heat, what the all people will do for entertainments , the people used to watch the WC by carrying beer as well as alcohol, as a country -Qatar will not promote this .
Its not only the rich people who comes to watch world cup they are lots of poor people used to come from different nations they may not stay In hotel they used to sleep at streets- can Qatar tolerate this ?
As an Arab nation like Qatar cannot tolerate Alcohol.

Posted by: Paul

The big football leagues are mainly in Europe, South America, Africa, Japan and South Korea and Australia. They influence the football calendar and that is why the WC has always been played in June-July.
There is a world sports calendar that is in place for decades which takes into consideration the several football championships (the Leagues, Euro Cup, Africa Cup, South America, World Cup, etc?) as well as winter and summer Olympics and other sports competitions. In 2022, besides the normal football calendar worldwide, we have in the winter the following events: Winter Olympics and African Nations Cup. Right after sometime in April- May we have the Ramadan (Will Qatar appreciate the WC during Ramadan???).
So that leaves us with June-July for the World Cup.
Was it a mistake to award the WC to Qatar? We all know the answer. The WC culture does not comply with the Qatar ?culture?. There will be clashes at many levels.

Posted by: Dave Skemmel

As far as I can tell, FIFA is caught between a rock and a hard place - not that I have any sympathy. This is, of course, all of its own doing.

The reality is, Qatar and FIFA will lose this fight.

There are already behind the scenes talks between clubs/European leagues and lawyers to find out what the legality of contractually obligating players to forfeit the right to play in the 2022 World Cup if it clashes with their own seasons.

The way things are looking, the World Cup may move to winter, but the countries taking part will be forced to field their B or even C teams ? their A teams' players being contractually tied into not playing if it is a winter World Cup.

If that does happen, both Qatar (somewhat unfairly) and FIFA will have egg on their faces.

There is nothing wrong with Qatar hosting it. However, you can't move the goalpost. There was never any chance of them winning the bid with a winter proposal. As such, it should be summer or nothing.

Posted by: Zafar

"The Avenger" you are also missing the point being made by Jacob. Jacob says that making heat a factor will effectively rule of a lot of places namely all of GCC, North Africa, significant parts of asia where the game is fast gaining popularity. Secondly, you do not realise that the pride with which you are talking about the richest leagues has several Arabian owners and sponsors - Qatar Airways, Qatar Foundation, Emirates, Etihad and many more... Some of the top teams have benefited from arabian sponsorship / ownership - Arsenal, Manchester City, PSG, Bareclona to name a few. No one is crying foul or getting defensive in this part of the world... whatever the means of the decision to award... why are the so called bigwigs of football now opening their eyes to what they feel is "Summer Heat". Obviously the beautiful game has Ugly administration

Posted by: The Avenger

5-6 teams in the UK with Arabian owners / sponsors out of 92 league clubs , not a great percentage to use as a counter argument im afraid .

These teams have functioned for over 100 years each and will continue to function when their owners move onto their next play thing or hobby .

You see Zafar you can buy into History but you'll never own it , that's something that The Gulf and it's money needs to learn .

Posted by: Matt Williams

Yes and these sponsors have greatly benefited by having their names on shirts that are then beamed out domestically and all over the world thus increasing their brand, market share and revenue.? What's your point exactly.?

Sponsoring clubs and buying top flight football clubs is not an act of charity, its business at the highest level with the highest returns expected.

Which is what they get...are we to be suddenly grateful.

Posted by: Jacob

I really fail to see why a Winter WC can't be arranged. They have 9 years to reorganize the leagues in Europe. Take 6 weeks in Nov and Dec and extend the season until mid-July so the players can have a break.

This is the WORLD CUP. Its current Summer slot discriminates against a huge swathe on the world. It effectively counts out India and South and South East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Joint Morocco/Tunisia bid? Forget it! Egypt? Forget it! Delhi? Forget it!

Critics say that Qatar and the GCC in general has a weak football heritage, but consider how many teams they own. The advertising, naming rights and sponsorship from this region is keeping the European leagues alive. How else could they afford the transfer fees and wages.

As to the tournament it is not too late to allocate some matches to other GCC countries. Many fans will probably base themselves in Manama if the causeway is finished. It is cheaper and has the infrastructure for fans to drink and party.

Posted by: Hassaan

It's most absurd and bizzare if the bidding process is for "summer" competition. Football is a sport and bidding process should be for an sporting event, a "Worldcup" in this case instead of a a calendar time or weather schedule.
sheer stupidity on the part of FIFA and administration if they have built the whole legal framework this way. its totally biased and a system to cut-out many countries from hosting competition based on weather.

Posted by: The Avenger

You're missing the point Jacob . 2022 was bid on a summer competition and all bidders submitted using the same criteria , this is contractual obligation , you cannot move it as you wish as it's not the same criteria for everyone , if so Qatar's bid should have stated a winter date.

Your comments about Qatar supplying the European leagues with their miney is nonsense , the European league and the richest league in the world The English Premier league takes its money from TV revenue , it has zero to do withthe Qatari's .

Whu should the biggest and most succsessful leahues in the world move their already congested seasons because of a corrupt organisation deems that they do so as they want to accomadate a World Cup that was awarded as they now say " The wrong decision"

People is this part of the world cry foul and get defensive so easily , it's about the bidding process being fair for all bidders it's not about who has the most money as the Qatari's will eventually find out .

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