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Sepp Blatter says Qatar 2022 World Cup should be played in winter, here we go…

Jul 17, 2013, 12:28 PM EDT

FIFA President Sepp Blatter waves to the media during his visit with Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussain, FIFA Vice President Asia, to the Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq Reuters

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Sepp Blatter.

And FIFA’s President never disappoints.

Blatter has today reiterated his appeal to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter to avoid the searing summer heat. Temperatures in the tiny emirate state reach an average of 106 degrees in July and August.

But FIFA decided they wanted to have the World Cup there.

In the past Blatter raised massive concerns about whether or not a World Cup  should take place in the summer in the Middle Eastern country and those issues have come to the fore once more.

Speaking in Austria earlier today, Blatter aired his views. “If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer. You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country.”

And Blatter also touched on if they can agree to change the league schedules in pretty much every country across the globe to accommodate a winter World Cup in Qatar. “There is still enough time. I will bring this up to the executive committee.”

You do that, Sepp.

In the original report on Qatar’s bid before they were given the World Cup in 2010, health concerns were raised about them hosting the tournament. But FIFA’s executive committee decided they would give the massive event to Qatar and fancy plans for outside air-conditioned stadiums were waved around triumphantly.

That was then, this is now.

Blatter has never publicly stated if he backed the bid. But with continued comments like this, you have to wonder whether Sepp and the committee are rethinking the decision to host the World Cup there altogether. Qatar has already been in the news this week, with its plans to buy 118 tanks to police the event already causing concern.

(MORE: Qatar set to purchase 118 tanks to prepare for 2022 World Cup)

And if the proposed air-conditioned stadiums don’t work out then there’s a huge problem. It is unsafe for anybody to watch the games and even though the venues may be okay, what about outside?

It has to be in the winter. FIFA knew that when they chose Qatar as the hosts. Surely? But expect this debate to rumble on for many months until a final decision is made.

Safe to say English Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga bosses will not be impressed. The huge upheaval of having to change around their whole season will irritate the purists.

But when all is said and done, who can argue with having a World Cup around Christmas time and then the EPL and other European leagues running throughout the summer months? That’s soccer heaven for most people.

I’m with Sepp on this one. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has to be in the winter. He should have nothing to discuss with FIFA’s executive committee…

  1. amartinez99 - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    This is all I could think about as I read this article:


    But, but, then ALL the leagues will not follow the European calendar! But, but, then the winter transfer period becomes the preseason transfer period, and that somehow puts everyone at a disadvantage! But, but!

    As much as I would love that this blows up in Sepp Blatter’s face, I also somewhat hope the European teams decide to adopt the calendar. I know one German team owner (might be Bayern’s) says that it makes more sense to play in the summer.

  2. geojock - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    The world cup can be hosted elsewhere. Someone just has to pay… up under the table.

  3. dreadpirate82 - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Soccer heaven would be moving the World Cup away from a country that doesn’t even give women equal rights, just to name one negative with holding it in Qatar. It’s ridiculous that Qatar is hosting for a host of reasons.

    • mlsconvert88888 - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Totally. Maybe it’s just me and the way I like to enjoy my soccer, but to me another huge red flag for World Cup Qatar is the countries rules on Alcohol and public intoxication. Not to say cracking down on public intoxication is a bad thing, but expecting fans at a world cup to conform to Qatar’s rules and regulations on drinking just seems unrealistic.

  4. chunkala - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Looks like it will be USA 2022 like it should have been before the bribes affected the vote.

    • mikeevergreen - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      So long as Julio Grondona has anything to say about it, no USA 2022.

  5. jucam1 - Jul 17, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    I just want to punch Sepp in his stupid face….. The level of corruption at FIFA is so insanely disturbing it’s difficult to take anything that man says seriously… You seriously think giving Qatar a WC makes any sense other than the massive amount of oil money that went into these scum bag’s pockets!

  6. brad9000 - Jul 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    The words needed to describe this situation cannot be used in this comment section. This has to be one of the biggest failures of all time

  7. talgrath - Jul 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    FIFA is just reaching this conclusion now? Have none of them ever been to Qatar or, I don’t know, at least read an Atlas or Wikipedia entry about the place before deciding to hold a World Cup there? Here’s some geography 101 for you FIFA, the closer a country is to the equator, the hotter it is in summer; UAE is pretty close to the Equator, so it’s going to be hot in the summer.

  8. bellerophon30 - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    This is what happens when bribery decides who gets a massive sporting event. Did anyone rationally think that soccer can be played in that kind of heat? Ask Houston Dynamo players and their various opponents……and Qatar is noticeably hotter than south Texas. Mind you, most geezer officials think that athletes are nothing but horses anyway, but still.

    The sport needs different leadership, and I’m praying that Sepp going to the mat on this, and that the European leagues defy him every step of the way and decline to stop their schedules for two months. Armageddon is the best answer here.

  9. kingkong90002013 - Jul 17, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Mr Blatter, as you said, it is certainly possible to cool a stadium, then why there is a need to change to winter? Remember that the football is played inside the stadium not in open area outside the stadium. Then why there should be a change?
    If football, as you share, has to be played in the best period, then play in July and June in Europe, USA or Asia. Remember that many people, like Platini, have said that the the best time to play football in Europe is June/July.
    This FIFA is a circus. Any football fan as rich as Bill Gate would have already sued Platini for result fixing in a tendering or bidding process to an international court or tribunal. How could Platini have promised a change of a tendering or bidding condition before the process. It is not fair by common sense. The other of the two promises that Platini has made is still a mystery. Unluckily Bill Gate is not a soccer fan. Platini is not being sued yet because no fans are as rich to dare offend the UEFA and FIFA.

  10. rubentisch - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    On the bright side, we’ll stop hearing how MLS has to conform to the FIFA calender, because FIFA will conform to the MLS one.

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