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Mounting pressure vs. Qatar 2022 World Cup, as England heads nations asking for switch

Aug 10, 2013, 9:41 AM EDT

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani and his wife Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser al-Misnad hold a copy of the World Cup trophy after the awarding of the 2022 World Cup. The event marked the first time a World Cup finals was awarded to a nation in the Middle East - the second time the event will take place in the Asian confederation (Japan-South Korea 2002). Reuters

Huge opposition is building against the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

On Friday evening the new head of the English Football Association, Greg Dyke, asked FIFA to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter or another country altogether.

The tiny desert nation has been under intense scrutiny ever since it was awarded the mammoth event and now several nations around the world are condemning FIFA’s decisions to take the tournament to Qatar.

FIFA itself deemed Qatar as “high risk” when completing an inspection of the nation’s bid in 2010, with searing summer temperatures in the Persian Gulf often hitting 50 C (120 F).

Dyke hit out at the decision to host the even in Qatar and discussed the FA’s stance.

“The FA’s position will be you can’t play it in summer in Qatar,” said Dyke. “FIFA therefore has two choices … you either move it in time or to another location. Someone should have worked that out in 2010 when it was awarded. It’s genuinely becoming accepted that you can’t play it in Qatar in the summer.”

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

And to echo Dyke’s comments, the Bundesliga’s chief executive Christian Seifert said that a winter tournament could disrupt European football for three years, slamming FIFA for ignoring “leagues who are effectively the core and the heart of football.” Recently head of FIFA Sepp Blatter has said the notion of a winter World Cup will be discussed by the governing bodies leading heads. But what is their to discuss?

The evidence is stacked up against holding a World Cup in Qatar.So, what are the options at his point?

Well, luckily, we are nine years away from the event taking place. So time’s on our side. But a decision needs to be made, one way or another, by FIFA’s executives very soon. Switching to winter time in Qatar would make the most sense, but many would argue that taking the tournament away from the tiny Arab nation would be the best move. England and the United States of America have been mooted as potential back up host nations.

(MORE: Sepp Blatter says 2022 World Cup should be played in winter, here we go…)

Air-conditioned outside stadiums were promised in Qatar, so far the technology is still lagging behind for that. The Qatari government has bought 118 tanks and other military equipment to deal with possible terrorist attacks and fan violence. But will fans really be able to function in that type of heat?

Time for Dyke to step in again: “I don’t know how many people have been to Qatar in June – I have,” Dyke said. “The one thing I can tell you is you can’t play a football tournament in Qatar in June. Also, it would be impossible for the fans. Just go out there, wander around in that sort of heat.”

And we have to take another tragic factor on board, as Christian “Chucho” Benítez recently died following a practice game in Qatar. The 27-year-old Ecuadorian forward had just switched to El Jaish from Club America and was use to playing in the extreme heat of Mexico, but he suffered a heart attack and many other issues after playing for the first-time in the relentless Qatari summer heat. As yet, the exact cause of his death hasn’t been linked to the conditions in the Middle Eastern nation, but surely it had to play some factor.

(MORE: Tragedy strikes as Ecuador star Christian Benítez, 27, dies in Qatar)

With problems mounting up for Qatar and leading European giants totally opposed to playing the World Cup there at all, where do we go from here?

FIFA has a lot of work to do before the 2022 showpiece tournament. If it remains in Qatar, it simply must be in the winter time. That won’t win FIFA many friends with the top European leagues, but it won’t put fans or players in danger.

But holding a World Cup in 120 degree heat during the Qatari summer, will.

  1. Andrew Marcinko - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Great article, good to know this is finally getting some traction. I would love to have it in the states because there’s no way I’m going to Russia or Qatar, and I’d rather not be 40 before I get to see a World Cup. btw, your first link isn’t working.

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      Cheers. Fixed now.

      Yeah, looking back three years ago when they won the right to host the World Cup, everyone brushed aside all of these obstacles that Qatar had to overcome. But not much has happened and people want answers.

      Safety is paramount. Qatar in the summer just doesn’t work.

      • NowWaitJustAMinute - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        People should’ve known Qatar didn’t have answers. AC stadiums is absurd on its face. But FIFA exec committee members lined their pockets and voted. If a country has to purchase 118 tanks for safety, nevermind heat, there’s a problem. Qatar doesn’t work in any season.

        This has to be changed and soon. Some country’s FA will have to step and say it will host. Ya know, like someone new to the Exec Comm…Mr. Gulati?

  2. Andrew Marcinko - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Reblogged this on –Footy America– and commented:
    Joe Prince-Wright over at ProSoccerTalk summarizes the ever-mounting opposition to Qatar 2022.

  3. capsfan19 - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Yes!! Good! This had to be about money for qatar to host the cup. Their was def some sort of behind the scenes incentives for them to make that choice.

  4. boroteesside - Aug 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Doubt it will happen, but hoping for a new host country for 2022. When watching the world cup i want to be holding a hamburger and necking a lager,not hugging a hot water bottle and nursing a lemsip!

  5. vtravi00 - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    European countries have to say “we are not participating if the tournament does not move location”. They hold the hammer, not Fifa. Try having a World Cup with out Europe. A winter World Cup is a mess as well. We all know that the 2018 and 2022 world cups were sold to the highest bidder. It is now time for the world to stand up to fifa and say move it or we won’t play. They could put it in the Usa, England or Australia or just hold another vote. Something has to be done

  6. rmac107 - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    All this stupidity could’ve been avoided if they hadn’t accepted those bribes to chose Qatar over USA.

    • midtec2005 - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Amen, this is essentially what I was going to post. FIFA is a joke.

  7. genebrooklyn - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    But can Qatar chit in to FIFA for reimbursement of their bribes if the WC goes elsewhere?

  8. seanb20124 - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Is Qatar gay friendly like Russia? That seems to be all the rage nowadays

  9. messire3124 - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    If you think Dorothy`s story is exceptional…, last munth my boy frends mom also easily made $6490 workin a eighteen hour week from there house and there classmate’s step-sister`s neighbour has been doing this for nine months and actually earnt over $6490 parttime at their computer. apply the tips at this address,

  10. dfstell - Aug 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    They should just take the tournament away from Qatar. I’m sorry…’s a tournament that takes place in June. That’s just how it is. I’m sorry if that means some parts of the world can’t have it, but they probably cannot ever host a Winter Olympics either.

    Move it anywhere in Europe or to North American or Australia.

    Making it in the winter is just stupid. The club game is the heart of football. That’s what we watch and it makes no sense to screw up multiple seasons of the club game just because the FIFA people wanted some bribes.

  11. talgrath - Aug 10, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    It is quickly becoming apparent that Qatar simply isn’t going to work in the summer. European leagues aren’t too keen on interrupting their schedules for the World Cup in winter either, so that leaves one obvious choice, move the damn tournament.

    • joeyt360 - Aug 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      And if they solve the issue of temperatures, we can start the conversation of why the World Cup is basically in a city-state.

  12. bellerophon30 - Aug 10, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    I’m praying that Sepp Blatter digs his heels in here and wants a move to winter…..and that the European leagues dig theirs in as well. Presto: Football Armageddon. It’s what the sport needs right now, a cleansing.

    And of course the obvious choice for a change in locations is the US, where no new facilities need to be built and all that’s needed are some permits and a lot of security arrangements.

    Oh, and the FIFA whores won’t be repaying the bribes that they took, are you nuts? As if they were men of honor. Sheesh.

  13. quizguy66 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    They should hold it in summer as awarded. FIFA should pay for their stupidity in empty (or at least empty of paying customers) stadiums and grumbling associations. I’d love to see it moved to the states of course, but short of that I want this to go on 100% as originally planned. When it falls short in every way then maybe FIFA will fully understand such nonsense.


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