FIFA needs to make a quick decision on Qatar 2022

Ed Attwood says action needs to be taken as concerns grow over impact of summer heat

Another week, another comment from a world football luminary giving his opinion on the World Cup in 2022, which was awarded to Qatar in 2010.

This time, it’s Greg Dyke, the erstwhile director general of the BBC, and the current chairman of Britain’s Football Association (FA).

His words in full: “Even if all the stadia are air-conditioned, I think it will be impossible for the fans.

"I think football is a winter game, that the public greatly enjoy their football through the winter and that we should think very carefully before we take football away from the public in the winter."

Dyke’s comments are just the latest on a topic on which it seems everyone has an opinion. These include: UEFA’s Michel Platini (who wants the tournament to be held in winter), the English Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Scudamore (summer), EPL chairman Sir David Richards (winter, bizarrely), the Bundesliga’s Christian Seifert (summer), former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (winter), and Qatar bid representative Ronald de Boer (winter, which might have cost him a small fee).

Theo Zwanziger, a new member of FIFA’s executive committee – the organisation that made the award to Qatar – recently said the whole idea of giving the World Cup to the Gulf state was “a blatant mistake”.

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, of course, but this constant speculation does no-one (apart from perhaps the media) any good. The worst comment of all came from Sepp Blatter himself, FIFA’s president, who said in July he would try to push the tournament to the winter.

Why on earth has it taken so long (not far off three years) to make this decision? The fact that Qatar’s climate is a trifle warm in the summer months isn’t exactly news, and for those elderly FIFA executive members who may not have been aware of the country’s geography, the bid clearly set out how Qatar would attempt to combat the heat.

If FIFA wants to shift the tournament to a different season, then by all means, go ahead, take the vote, make a decision and then stick to it. For the Qataris, who seem to have no say on timing, the constant back-and-forth must be a source of immense frustration, particularly as some reports seem to imply that the whole decision could be reversed.

Ultimately, whether the World Cup is held in the summer or winter makes no difference to Qatar’s infrastructure plans. But the fact that FIFA has continuously dragged its heels over a decision that should have been made back in 2010 does no credit to an organisation already saddled with bad press, while simultaneously contributing to the argument that it made the wrong decision in the first place.

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Posted by: sherif

Dubai is better option than Qatar!

Posted by: expatriate in Doha

Qatar will organize the world cup better than any of your ever imagined

, this bid was awarded almost 3 years and the forever rant of jealousy or whatever has not stopped it.

Now that the heat is on the "steaming" list now,
so does this mean no country with heat "not tolerated by west" will ever be able to organize a world cup?

don't people live here in this part of the world in summer months?

there is almost a decade left till 2022, everything for the sake of the world cup in 2022 is being worked out by the qatari government since and before winning the bid in order for a success of the world cup.

stop sulking for heaven's sake and zip it up till the summer of 2022!!!

Posted by: Victory

More people turn out to watch football in the UK EVERY weekend of the season than the entire popluation of Qatar - the same is true in Italy and France and Germany and Spain. Consider that when you say Qatar should now have a voice in scheduling of these major leagues. It is the blind idiots of FIFA who rightly should be ashamed of their collective actions. The sooner Blatter is retired and all of his cronies the better for everyone. FIFA have to make it work somehow - they will not take the tournament away from Qatar - they will disrupt all the major leagues in Europe to cover their embarrassment. Shame on you FIFA.

Posted by: ian

I remain sad for the Qataris who made and won a bid in good faith, for getting tarnished with all this rubbish. They are quietly getting on with what they promised and have been asked to do. However, I firmly believe the current discussions prove FIFA did not assess the bids properly. They are a corrupt and incompetent organisation which needs to clear out the dead wood (all of it) and replace with fresh honest blood. In the meantime they should accept that they will live with the decision they made in 2010 and focus on the task of how to ensure safety of fans in the heat of a summer in Qatar, bearing in mind that most in this world have never experienced that 50 degree heat and have no idea of the consequences of not respecting it

Posted by: one of the joes

@Ian, may be Qatar had no understanding what they have been bidding for. And they should be happy to be released from their duties.
Imagine a world cup where people are locked into ac-ed hotels, transported by ac-ed busses to ac-ed stadiums. Of course, not to forget the mandatory mall visits - where everything is ac-ed.

This is more like virtual reality and would have very little to do with the realities of a world cup.

Trying to organise an event that involves outdoor partying - drinking within limits is part of it - in a country where you have to box people into areas that can be air-conditioned and where policies and regulation in regard to people's behaviors are at best inconsistent, even over only short periods of times, is possibly not a good idea from the start. That is not an issue for FIFA, that is Qatar itself.
And in regard to consistency, take a look at the pearl.

Posted by: Oldtimer

It is too hot in summer for the players and for spectators; 45 to 50 degree C is not something that anybody can withstand for 90 min of exertion! Air conditioning in the stadia is not the answer. Qatar deserves to host the cup but only in the winter. European clubs should not oppose this move. Football is the predominant game in this part of the world and quite a lot of people follow European clubs, FA cup etc. It is true that in absolute numbers the population here might not amount to much nor the earnings from TV rights. That should not deny Qatar from hosting the event. In any case these issues were not properly considered by FIFA before accepting Qatar.

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