Blatter admits Qatar blunder

2013-09-09 22:09
Sepp Blatter (AFP)

Paris - Awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may well have been "a mistake", FIFA president Sepp Blatter said for the first time on Monday.

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 searing 50 degrees Celsius heat.

Calls to move the World Cup to later in the year, during the European winter, have also been unpopular as it will cause major disruption to domestic league competitions in countries such as Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France.

Asked by about awarding Qatar the tournament, Blatter said: "It may well be that we made a mistake at the time."

Blatter, who in May said it was "not rational" to play in Qatar in June and July, added: "On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities.

"The World Cup is FIFA's biggest, if not only, global event. Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all?

"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.

"We must accept that football has moved away from being a European and South American sport - it has become the world sport that billions of fans are excitedly following every week, everywhere in the world."

Blatter hopes FIFA's executive committee will endorse his proposal to switch the tournament to the winter.

If such a move is rubber-stamped, the Swiss added: "The next steps will include a close look at the international calendar and to establish what consequences the change would have.

"We would naturally need to speak to and consult with all interested parties and stakeholders."

Qatar defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to win the right to host the tournament for the first time.

Read more on:    fifa  |  sepp blatter  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.