Johannesburg, Sep 10: FIFA president Sep Blatter has admitted that awarding the hosting rights of the 2022 Football World Cup to Qatar may have been a mistake.
According to Sport24, staging the tournament in the Middle East has caused much controversy because if it is held over its traditional dates in the middle of the year, players will have to contend with scorching 50 degrees Celsius heat.
The report mentioned that calls to move the World Cup during the winter in the year have also been dismissed as it will cause major disruption to domestic league competitions in countries such as Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France.
Stating that awarding Qatar the tournament might have been a mistake, Blatter, who had previously said that it was irrational to play in Qatar in June and July, however, said that it is also necessary to consider political and geo-political realities given that World Cup is FIFA’s biggest, if not only, global event.
According to Blatter, they cannot demand that the event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all, adding that it is high time that Europe starts to understand that it does not rule the world any more.
Blatter also said that they must accept that football has moved away from being a European and South American sport to becoming a global sport.
Hoping that FIFA’s executive committee will endorse his proposal to switch the tournament to the winter, Blatter stated that if such a move is confirmed then FIFA would look closely at the international calendar to establish what consequences the change would have.
Qatar defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to win the right to host the tournament for the first time, the report added. (ANI)