Brazilian great Zico says Qatar “doesn’t have football”, lacks soccer culture for 2022 World Cup


Former Brazilian attacking midfielder Zico has provided a reason why Qatar shouldn’t hold the 2022 World Cup.

The current AS Goa head coach, fairly straightforward about the hosting of FIFA’s biggest tournament in eight years time, said a World Cup shouldn’t occur in a country “that doesn’t have football.”

This statement comes after U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch revealed the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups are under investigation and the possibility of a re-vote could be in order depending on the findings.

The UK’s sports secretary John Whittingdale then announced that England would readily take the opportunity to host the 2022 event if it became up for grabs.

Zico would more or less agree with that sentiment:

“With respect to Qatar as a country that wants to grow, you can’t have a World Cup in a country that doesn’t have football,” Zico said to Sporting News.

“You cannot change the fact that all of the world is used to seeing a World Cup for one single country.. Why does this country have that strength? I worked there [Qatar] when I was Iraq’s head coach. They don’t have 1,000 people at their stadiums. There are matches where not even the players’ families go.

“If the irregularities are proven that there was buying of votes for this nomination, I think that, no matter who did it, we should stop and start over again, make a different kind of election,” he said.

Zico give us a personal insight into soccer’s popularity in the region and at the same time, helps make the case for the United States as well as other countries that already have infrastructure to hold an affair of such magnitude.

But the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Qatari FA seem adamant on maintaining their grip on the competition, indicating they are ahead of schedule with the building of “excellent” stadiums.

In the end, Qatar’s hosting could mean a great deal for that country in the long term.