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Sun 31 Jul 2011 10:54 AM

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Qatar to keep 2022 World Cup, says Blatter

FIFA boss says only Qataris can decide whether to shift tournament to cooler months

Qatar to keep 2022 World Cup, says Blatter
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the Qatari 2022 bid may be investigated if evidence of any wrongdoing comes to light
Qatar to keep 2022 World Cup, says Blatter
A sign on the FIFA headquarters is seen on late November 30, 2010 in Zurich. (Getty Images)
Qatar to keep 2022 World Cup, says Blatter

The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar, and any decision about whether to change the timing of the tournament away from the heat of the summer will be taken by the Qataris themselves, Sepp Blatter has said.

According to an interview with the Telegraph, the FIFA president said the Qatari bid could come under further scrutiny if the FIFA’s new Solutions Committee discovered any evidence of wrongdoing by the Qatar Football Association.

“We are going step-by-step into the matters,” Blatter told the newspaper. “If somewhere through this Solutions Committee, they should say we have to have a look at that, then we will.”

Michel Platini, the president of UEFA, had previously stated that games should be held across the Gulf region in winter to prevent them from being played in the summer heat. But Blatter dismissed this suggestion.

“For the time being, nobody has asked to change anything, neither the organisation in Qatar nor the FA there,” he said. “So for the time being the Qatar World Cup is not touched and the basic is that it will be played in June and July.”

When asked whether that could change, Blatter said: “That is a possibility. But it’s not my decision. It has to come from the Qataris to ask to change something. For the time being they haven’t. We are not touching now the Qatar World Cup.”

The FIFA head also said that the body had come under no pressure from sponsors to change either the venue or the timing of the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar is in the process of building 12 technologically advanced stadia that will have cooling systems installed to protect players and spectators from 40C-plus temperatures.

The Sports City Stadium, inspired by the shape of a Bedouin tent, could become the most expensive sports facility ever built, with estimates as to its cost coming in at around $2bn.

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observer 8 years ago

This is a big folly. I think a GCC World Cup would have been a sensible thing, with games spread among Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia if they wanted to participate. By 2022 maybe even Iraq could be in, after all they are building a new stadium in Basra.

There is no doubt that the games will have to be held either early or late in the year, it is too hot in summer.

Raj G 8 years ago

The real politics that is going on is now, when Qatar's respectability is questioned, just because they where victorious. HAS EVERYONE SEEN THE STADIUMS THEY ARE GOING TO BUILD? This is why they where awarded the cup and they deserve it. This project will push important technology for humanity forward like no other project. Why not let humanity push the envelope?? We can go to the moon, put up a space station but WE CANT PLAY SOCCER IN SUMMER? Qatar is willing to invest $100 Billion on this project (the others, a fraction), to show the world they are a player and they are. Don’t you want to go see this future wonder of the world? It is a mistake to even consider changing venue and that would make FIFA’s word meaningless. Qatar has already committed Billions to this project and FIFA could face a huge lawsuit from Qatar and win if they pull the cup. Where do I get my tickets?!

Thomas 8 years ago

Whoever makes a statement about the bribery is silenced with money power I guess. Blatter is now content with his position, so now the focus is only on poor Bin Hammam. Building stadiums are easy, but to develop the infrastructure is very challenging especially with the attitude of the people here. They shall surely understand one day that money cannot buy EVERYTHING.

Lionheart 8 years ago

Come and live and work in Qatar for a period of time and i can gaurantee that you'll change your statement , the bricks and motar are easy it's the social attitude and behaviour that will be the problem . There needs to be massive social change here in Qatar for this W.C to be successful .

R G 8 years ago

That defeatist attitude you have is what defines leaders and followers, winners and losers. Greatness is never easy and if Qatar wants to reach up to world leader status, let them. The people of Qatar well recognize they get one shot at the world stage and they wont waste it. This project is the perfect long range project and will transform not just Qatar, but the whole region. Even 10 years to go and there is already a rush by Qatar to get ready. Then afterwards, they will sell off some stadiums and a new industry will be born, that of "prefabricated" stadiums.

Mohammed 8 years ago

Lionheart,
I live in Qatar. Can I ask what social attitude and behaviour you are talking about? And how do you think changing it should be done?