It has never been all that surprising when FIFA makes a ridiculous move. As a governing body, it is prone to mental errors and nonsensical decision making. Yet, it is the recent news regarding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar that tops the list of bonehead plays.
Today, the international federation announced that when the World Cup heads to Qatar it could possibly be played in the winter. The winter. This has to be one of the most daft and shameless declarations of arrogance this sport has seen. Yes, Qatar reaches 120 degrees in the summer. And yes, the winters in Qatar are far more manageable at around 75 degrees.
But that should be a moot point as Qatar should never have gotten the bid in the first place. For perspective, they beat out Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States for the bid. Any of these countries would have been a better option.
But that is just one issue. The fact is that a winter World Cup would not only set a bad precedent for years to come, but it would also completely ruin the domestic leagues that play from fall to spring. That would include just about every major European league, and many are already said to be asking for compensation.
This will also affect television contracts. For example, Fox, who bought the TV rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in the United States, would be forced to compete with themselves during the Super Bowl. Sounds like a downright nightmare.
So an oil rich country with no footballing history – or large-scale sporting infrastructure – to speak of and a terrible climate for a summer tournament gets the bid over more obvious choices? Hmmm. Nope, no corruption to be found. But this is not news. Corruption and FIFA go hand-in-hand like football matches and a pint.
Oh wait! No pints? It appears that Qatar has strict alcohol laws, which means beer is very hard to find, and if one is found it will most likely be warm. Also, the country has firm laws against homosexuality. So, not only will there be intolerance, but very little libation to speak of. What a disaster.
To be fair, nothing is set in stone just yet, and the final decision is to be made after the 2014 World Cup. With that in mind, FIFA has not budged on moving the World Cup from Qatar to another host nation, so it looks exceedingly likely that this will be the final outcome.
Thank you, FIFA; you’ve truly outdone yourself this time.