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Sepp Blatter admits awarding World Cup to Qatar was a mistake

May 16, 2014, 6:53 AM EDT

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the media in Zurich Reuters

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted it was a mistake to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

His reasoning does not revolve around the number of deaths of workers involved in the building of stadiums, nor the outcry over the treatment of migrant workers engaged in preparations for the tournament. Instead, Blatter concedes that summer temperatures in the Gulf state are simply too hot for such matches to be played.

In an interview with Swiss TV station RTS, Blatter said:

Of course, it was a mistake. You know, one makes a lot of mistakes in life. The technical report indicated clearly that it was too hot in summer, but despite that the executive committee decided with quite a big majority that the tournament would be in Qatar.

There have been suggestions that the 2022 World Cup will take place in winter rather than summer months, with FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke saying it could be scheduled “between November 15 and January 15 at the latest”. The decision on whether to move the 2022 tournament from summer to winter will be taken after this year’s World Cup finals.

If the technical report (or even a quick internet search) indicated that Qatar regularly faces daily highs of 106 degrees in July, dropping below 99 degrees only one of every ten days, why would FIFA ever grant the country permission to host the World Cup? June may be a bit cooler, but it’s unlikely it features pleasant playing temperatures.

But don’t worry – Blatter insists that there was nothing untoward about Qatar’s bid, and that the hosting rights were not “bought” from FIFA. The president said, “No, I have never said it was bought, but that it was due to political considerations.”

It was a mistake to award Qatar the World Cup. It was brought about by political considerations – and now other political considerations are causing considerable unease amongst observers. Will Blatter be able to swallow his pride and rescind its offer to allow Qatar to host the 2022 tournament?

  1. gpry - May 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Please, the executive committee were greatly compensated and that’s the reason why they ignored the safety of the players. Throw in the despicable worker conditions and you get FIFA proving how all they care about is getting paid

  2. rafibomb10 - May 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Sepp Blatter is a turd…but we all knew that

  3. some1kj - May 16, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    Blatter and his committee made 2 mistakes, one by awarding the 2018 event to Russia and the other 2022 to Qatar. Russia with Putin at the helm has no business being awarded such lucrative prize. Denying England the opportunity to host the World Cup for what would be 60 years (2026 being the earliest date) is a travesty and a scandal of major proportions. It is hard to find the right words to describe FIFA’s behavior without getting into trouble!

    • simonkulberg - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      This is only true if you believe the hysterical NATO propaganda though. Best to keep politics out of this stuff entirely, or you can`t arrange World Cups at all.
      But 50 degrees celsius in summer is just too hot, and the process was corrupt.
      This decision needs to be reversed, no matter how many bribes have been handed out. If it isn`t people need to boycott the 2022 World Cup.

  4. jimmycrackcorn99 - May 16, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    The question is, how did the Qatar committee deceive Blatter and hide the fact that the average temperature in Qatar is 105F/41C.

  5. Footballer - May 16, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Oil money talks.

    • rafibomb10 - May 16, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Not just oil money…all money talks.

  6. jdfsquared - May 16, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Let’s hope this slow roll of mea culpa’s we’re seeing builds to a consensus at or immediately after this WC that the Qatar tourney must be moved. Already, Euro leagues are unhappy about the potential winter shift. I think that Blatter is laying the groundwork here and floating balloons for major rethink.

  7. lyleoross - May 16, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Not to be a ghoul, but what are they going to do if someone dies of heat stroke? FIFA will have one of the biggest I told you so moments ever, and very hard questions will be asked. The whole thing seems beyond foolish.

    Even more, who’s gonna go. Russian Olympics, no fans; Brazil World Cup, no fans; Russia World Cup, no fans; and Qatar World Cup, no fans. These guys are killing their brands.

    People don’t want to go to unsafe, and politically unstable places unless they have no choice. My family decided against Brazil because of the all to likely possibility of getting caught in a riot or demonstration.

    • simonkulberg - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      “No fans” in Brazil? You must be joking. And Europeans will swarm to Russia in 2018, don`t worry. In fact I`d personally rather go to Russia to watch a game than be subjected to rectal examinations by the TSA goons in the “security” obsessed USA.
      But Qatar is different. I can`t imagine anyone wanting to go there for any reason. It`s a medieval tyranny and is too warm to watch football and too warm to watch football.

      • lyleoross - Jul 4, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        You’re not looking at the empty seats. Yes, plenty went, but much less then anticipated and built for. Russia’s already proved inept at building for a major event and getting people in. I suspect there will be many empty seats there too.

        As for the TSA, not sure where you brought that from, but okay, Osama won. I feel sad for my country and what we’ve become. It is a testament to fear, but has nothing to do with this discussion.

        On the other hand, I will point out that the reason that Qatar, and many other Middle East countries are what they are is due to the invasions and avarice of European powers that fought over her oil riches going back over 100 years. And of course, the US has continued that fine tradition.

  8. provguard - May 17, 2014 at 4:01 AM

    Money taints a lot of decisions…..

  9. Matthew - May 17, 2014 at 4:02 AM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    Oh, now Sepp Blatter admits it was a mistake to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar…why should we trust anything Blatter and his compatriots say or do anymore?

  10. alane1972 - May 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    What a surprise indeed… Hot in the desert? Who knew? Except possibly every person with a preschool education. This explains a lot about the suits and their decision making at FIFA

    • simonkulberg - Jul 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      It could be a cool desert…..I vote the 2026 World Cup be arranged in Antarctica me. They have just been shafted for big tournaments down there.

  11. kitnamania13 - May 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    I guess someone missed a payment to Blatter’s Swiss bank account.

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