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Blatter: Admits Qatar World Cup 'Mistake'
Guardian, September 10th, 2013 11:44AM

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TAGS:  fifa, world cup 2022

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In an interview with InsideWorldFootball.com, Sepp Blatter said that it “may well be that [FIFA] made a mistake” in awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, while underlining his commitment to moving the tournament to the winter to avoid the Middle Eastern country’s summer heat, where temperatures can reach 122 degrees. The FIFA President also suggested that its executive board should vote on a move in principle at its next meeting on Oct. 3 and 4.

During the interview, Blatter claimed that the current set-up favors Europe: "If we maintain, rigidly, the status quo, then a FIFA World Cup can never be played in countries that are south of the equator or indeed near the equator," he said. "We automatically discriminate against countries that have different seasons than we do in Europe. I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world any more, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will on to others in far away places."

Meanwhile, the European Clubs Association, a coalition of 207 of the biggest clubs in Europe, is meeting in Geneva today to discuss the issue of a winter World Cup. Milan director Umberto Gandini believes it is “almost inevitable” that the ECA will have to accept a winter World Cup; English FA chairman Greg Dyke has also said the same thing. These and other execs worry that a winter World Cup would cause havoc to the European club schedule, not just for the teams, leagues and associations, but also for broadcasters, and even other sports. As the Guardian points out, the calendar would have to be altered not only for the 2021-22 season but for a season either side to accommodate the switch.

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1 comment
  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: September 10, 2013 at 12:47 p.m.
    Not that he cares, but Blatter might have kept a shred of decency/respectability had he said this BEFORE the 2022 games were awarded, in justification of entertaining bids from the southern hemisphere: "If we maintain, rigidly, the status quo, then a FIFA World Cup can never be played in countries that are south of the equator or indeed near the equator,".


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