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Report: FIFA “seriously” considering moving the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar

Feb 16, 2014, 9:51 AM EDT

BlatterQatar AP

There may be some respite after all.

According to German paper Die Welt, a person only identified as a “senior FIFA employee” said that despite FIFA’s public claims that they are adamant about making Qatar 2022 work, moving the event to another country is a “serious option.”

This comes on the heels of a report in The Guardian that over 400 Nepalese immigrant workers have died since construction began on World Cup stadiums in the sweltering hot country.

With the human rights situation in shambles, the report suggests that a decision will be made by the final 2014 meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee.  The senior employee said “there would be enough time for the tournament to be reassigned.”

The Guardian report on the Nepalese death toll comes from the Prevasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee, an organization the Guardian labels as a respected human rights group.

It also warns that the death toll could reach a staggering 4,000 by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around. This number was posed back in September, but apparently it did little to scare FIFA off at the time.

The human rights allegations, coupled with the need to move the World Cup to the winter to avoid stifling heat, could apparently be enough to move the venue location.

However, at least publicly, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the rest of the organization have held firm in their belief that an in-house solution can be found.

The Executive Committee has not been 100% behind the decision to award Qatar the massive undertaking. Back in the summer of last year, Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger labeled the decision a “blatant mistake.”

Zwanziger as recently as this Thursday said, speaking at a human rights hearing by the European Union, that in Qatar, “regarding human rights there is no more time.” The hearing apparently resulted in an ultimatum to Qatar that they must come up with a plan to improve working conditions by Wednesday.

  1. kirielson - Feb 16, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    They’ll think about it for 5 seconds and say “Nah.” If they do move it, it’s only to either the states or Australia.

  2. seanb20124 - Feb 16, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Qatar will write a big check to FIFA, and promise to address human rights issues.

  3. jhalion - Feb 16, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Just come on already and move it to the US! The initial voting was shady and everyone knows America had the best bid.

  4. dfstell - Feb 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    They almost have to move it. I mean, look at all the crap Russia is getting over being horribly homophobia and killing stray dogs. Even with that, you’ve had the German team come in rainbow regalia where they released as statement that their rainbow clothes were NOT a statement on gay rights (which was clever given that the statement was read just to remind people the the clothes most definitely WERE a statement on gay rights). And Russian delegations to things like the G8 meetings have found all the crosswalks outside their hotel painted in rainbow colors. Just wait until Qatar get’s closer. It’ll be a nightmare.

    I totally understand that Qatar wants to take a place on the world stage, but they will find that just like individual wealthy people, there is a limit to how much acceptance you can get with mere money. Eventually you have to learn the rules of civilized society too.

    • reformed2012 - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:36 AM

      “Eventually you have to learn the rules of civilized society too.”

      Well said.


      • twerkslikeMiley - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        Religion is a cancer. Not just Islam.

  5. schlom - Feb 16, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    If they move it will that mean that FIFA executives will have to give their bribes back?

    • lunasceiling - Feb 16, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      Ya beat me to it, schlom!

      • midtec2005 - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        and me!

  6. bellerophon30 - Feb 16, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    All this makes me wonder why they awarded the rights so far in advance in the first place. In the past, the 2022 WC wouldn’t be awarded until this December……….oh wait, maybe they should have done this kind of thing earlier, then maybe Brazil might be a little bit closer to ready than they are.

  7. Jenna - Feb 16, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Seriously, they won’t move it as long as Blatter is in charge. He won’t take that kind of mud on his face.

    • bear06 - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:38 AM

      Blatter wasn’t responsible for Qatar getting the 2022 WC.

      • geojock - Feb 17, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        He didnt directly have a vote toward Qatar, but hard to believe he wasnt involved at some level. Also it happened under his leadership and in the corrupt culture that he did nothing to stop and probably has had his had in at some point.

  8. geojock - Feb 17, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Everyone was so upset about the bribes and the shady dealings in the beginning, but the ‘good’ thing about these is that the shadiness can go the other way. If i am dealing in bribes, why should i keep my word?

  9. chadmoon1 - Feb 17, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Blatter had everything to do with getting Qatar the WC. You remember when the head of the Qatatri Federation ran against Blatter? He was accused and convicted by Blatter and his ilk of running a dirty campaign and was banned for life. And how was Qatar punished? By being awarded the WC!!!

    Come on, if that doesnt scream payola, nothing does.

    • bear06 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      No, he didn’t. I’m in no way supporting Blatter but saying that he had everything to do with getting Qatar the WC is just not true. Platini deserves more of the blame than Blatter.

  10. onelovesoccer7 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    what a mess. everyone and their mother knew it was a disaster waiting to happen and FIFA didn’t listen. make the right move FIFA, for once.

  11. mikeevergreen - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Given what Russia is up to, I’s day move 2018 to England and 2022 to the USA.

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