FIFA President Sepp Blatter is finally admitting what the rest of the soccer world has known ever since the announcement was made in December 2010: Awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was a terrible idea.
Blatter also said that the tournament would likely have to be held in the winter because of the 100-degree-plus summer temperatures in the Middle Eastern nation.
“Of course, it was a mistake. You know, one comes across a lot of mistakes in life,” he told Swiss television station RTS in an interview.
“The Qatar technical report indicated clearly that it is too hot in summer, but the executive committee with quite a big majority decided all the same that the tournament would be in Qatar,” he added.
Asked whether the World Cup was likely to be held in the European winter, the 78-year-old replied: “It’s probable, yes. In fact, it’s more than probable.”
The soccer world howled when Qatar was awarded the sport’s marquee event over a bid from the United States, decrying the climate and the lack of any sort of soccer culture and suspecting that the decision was not entirely on the level. FIFA began an investigation over the voting procedure for both the 2022 World Cup and the 2018 event, which was awarded to Russia.
“I will never say [Qatar] bought the World Cup,” Blatter told RTS, then hinting that France and German had a role in the matter.
“We know full well that big French and German companies work in Qatar, but they don’t just work for the World Cup. The World Cup is only a small part of what is going on in Qatar,” Blatter said.