Sepp Blatter has risked the scorn of many in the world of soccer by stating that it will be Qatar’s choice to decide whether they want to stage the 2022 World Cup in the winter. How the Gulf state will deliver a World Cup when temperatures hit a searing 50 degrees in June and July have led to a number of different plans being mooted – our personal favorite would be them creating floating stadiums. Alas that’s probably not in the pipeline.
With regards to the winter plans, Blatter said, “That is a possibility. But it’s not my decision. It has to come from the Qataris to ask to change something. For the time being they haven’t. We are not touching now the Qatar World Cup.”
It would mean that the tournament would be played in the cooler climate of December and the European season thrown into chaos as a result. Seeing as serious plans to introduce stadia with air conditioning have already been revealed, then this is still a very distant possibility. That’s if Qatar gets to stage the tournament at all.
Blatter added that any wrongdoing that is uncovered involving the bid could jeopardize it taking place in the gas-rich country. The Telegraph quotes Blatter as saying, “We are going step by step into the matters. If somewhere through this Solutions Committee, they should say we have to have a look at that, then we will.”
Blatter also added that calls for a rethink have come from Theo Zwanziger, president of the German FA, the FIFA president adding, “When I spoke with Zwanziger he realised it’s too easy to say we should reopen things. He knows he has to first come to FIFA with the evidence. Everybody must produce evidence.”
The fact that a rethink may be considered will be good news for the countries that bid for the two World Cups and could even give England a shot at hosting it. Most of Russia is in Asia after all and this could be the loophole needed for two European hosts in a row. It’s a long way off though and all speculation at this stage.