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BBC reports Qatari officials considering legal action over potential 2022 re-vote

Jun 5, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT

FBL-WC2022-FIFA-QATAR-LABOUR-SLAVERY-UNIONS Getty Images

From most fan’s perspectives, FIFA is not moving fast enough on Qatar, but today’s news from England serves as a reminder. Soccer’s world governing body must not only move deliberately but fairly in assessing of the 2022 World Cup host nation, a sad reality considering the expected mortality rate for those working on the event’s infrastructure. Without that process, the controversial hosts could have recourse in court.

According to the BBC, organizers from Qatar are considering legal action should its hosting privileges come up for a re-vote. With FIFA’s president, vice president, and UEFA’s head all expressing varying levels of concern about the 2022 event, momentum is already building toward that end, but in a case that’s likely to be filed in Switzerland, Qatar could force FIFA to show more than uncertainty and speculation caused the process to be re-opened.

Most crucially, perhaps, will be whether a re-vote can even happen without leaving FIFA exposed, all of which depends on the exact legal commitment the body’s made to the host nation. Even if it can authorize a re-vote, the organization may still have to justify its decisions to a judge.

From the BBC:

Qatari officials are believed to be considering all options open to them, including possible legal action, if the vote for the 2022 World Cup is re-run …

Qatari officials claim more than £23bn of investment linked to the 2022 World Cup would be under threat if Fifa, football’s world governing body, strips the Gulf state of its right to stage the showpiece event.

If there’s any question why FIFA, in the face of so much controversy, seems to be acting slowly, this scenario is the answer. Before the governing body acts to move 2022, it needs to solidify its case. It needs to have more than suspicions from fans and questions about timing and temperature. With the organization having already voted to committed to Qatar, it will may need to have a solid case before breaking that agreement.

Thankfully for those who want the World Cup moved, FIFA has a number of years to get this done. If the body isn’t snapping to attention whenever the Times of London publishes something, it’s because the papers aren’t where this battle will be waged. FIFA may eventually need to make its case to a  judge.

  1. scoochpooch - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Just give Qatar 3/4 of their investment and pull out. Surely the country can benefit from some of the investment that has already been incurred.

    • urallstupid - Jun 7, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      oh ya, lets just pull ~18 billion out of my butt. 2ez

  2. mknow406a - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:24 AM

    On some level, I sympathize with Qatar. FIFA is a private, corrupt, nepotistic organization. It’s always been a ‘pay to play’ model… Qatar simply played by the rules tradition dictated… and with ALL of the stories about Warner’s behavior, there is no way FIFA was not aware all along. All the top dogs within FIFA have been pocketing cash so they didn’t care about fairness. Now all of the sudden FIFA is afraid all of the bad press may have a negative impact on their income so they need to “investigate.” (Here’s a translation: Put out feelers to the sponsors to see what, if anything, it’s going to cost them if they go ahead with playing in Qatar.) The ONLY way the FIFA culture will change is if countries opt out of the competition (which ain’t gonna happen) and causing real FINANCIAL pressure on FIFA to change. Let’s face it, moral and ethical pressure hasn’t worked so far. The ONLY thing FIFA has consistently responded to is money… and as long as they’re raking it in,they could care less about anything else.

    • lyleoross - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      While this is a fair and adequate point, I think what’s missing from the discussion is what should happen to FIFA? Remember, they knew what Qatar was, the heat etc. prior to the vote. If all countries are on an equal footing in terms of FIFA accepting their bribes, and it is the norm, them why risk Qatar? You’d have to be exceptionally dense to do so. So, FIFA played the way the normally do, but this incident shows them to be extremely bad at their jobs. I can even accept the bribes, but at least only accept them from countries that can pull the task off in a reasonable way.

      • mknow406a - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        It seems pretty straight forward to me. Roman, and the other Russian oligarchs, start buying up Chelsea and other big name teams and the next World Cup goes to Russia. Then, Middle East identities start buying up major teams and the following World Cup goes to Qatar. FIFA simply panders to the richest markets that are spending big bucks on soccer. If FIFA puts the tournament in Qatar, and member nations still send teams, and top players still go and FIFA still receives big royalty payments, what is the risk? If all that is going to happen is that people and players are going to complain, yet still go, watch, play and support the event overall, FIFA does not lose anything. It’s is only a risk if there is the threat of a loss… what are you suggesting that FIFA is risking to lose?

  3. gwalk89502 - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Is it just me, or do a lot of these articles have far too many spelling and/or grammatical errors?

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