Chilean Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the head of FIFA's inspection team, put a damper on Qatari hopes to land the 2022 World Cup finals when he said the tiny Gulf nation "would pose a number of logistical challenges."
His remarks came at the end of the six-man inspection group's tour of Qatar, the final stop on the tour of the 11 countries representing nine bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Mayne-Nicholls compared Qatar to Uruguay, host of the first tournament in 1930.
"Then there were only 13 teams playing all their matches in two stadiums in the same city," he said. "That easily worked out 80 years ago but the scope of the event, as we all know, has changed dramatically. Nowadays we have 32 teams and the last edition in South Africa had more than 80,000 accredited people including 15,000 media and hundreds of thousands of football fans traveling to the host country."
Mayne-Nicholls said Qatar didn't have the accommodation or transportation to meet the needs of a modern World Cup but said FIFA had been assured by Qatari bidders it was prepared to change this and lots of development plans were underway.