It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Sepp Blatter.
And FIFA’s President never disappoints.
Blatter has today reiterated his appeal to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter to avoid the searing summer heat. Temperatures in the tiny emirate state reach an average of 106 degrees in July and August.
But FIFA decided they wanted to have the World Cup there.
In the past Blatter raised massive concerns about whether or not a World Cup should take place in the summer in the Middle Eastern country and those issues have come to the fore once more.
Speaking in Austria earlier today, Blatter aired his views. “If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer. You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country.”
And Blatter also touched on if they can agree to change the league schedules in pretty much every country across the globe to accommodate a winter World Cup in Qatar. “There is still enough time. I will bring this up to the executive committee.”
You do that, Sepp.
In the original report on Qatar’s bid before they were given the World Cup in 2010, health concerns were raised about them hosting the tournament. But FIFA’s executive committee decided they would give the massive event to Qatar and fancy plans for outside air-conditioned stadiums were waved around triumphantly.
That was then, this is now.
Blatter has never publicly stated if he backed the bid. But with continued comments like this, you have to wonder whether Sepp and the committee are rethinking the decision to host the World Cup there altogether. Qatar has already been in the news this week, with its plans to buy 118 tanks to police the event already causing concern.
And if the proposed air-conditioned stadiums don’t work out then there’s a huge problem. It is unsafe for anybody to watch the games and even though the venues may be okay, what about outside?
It has to be in the winter. FIFA knew that when they chose Qatar as the hosts. Surely? But expect this debate to rumble on for many months until a final decision is made.
Safe to say English Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga bosses will not be impressed. The huge upheaval of having to change around their whole season will irritate the purists.
But when all is said and done, who can argue with having a World Cup around Christmas time and then the EPL and other European leagues running throughout the summer months? That’s soccer heaven for most people.
I’m with Sepp on this one. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has to be in the winter. He should have nothing to discuss with FIFA’s executive committee…