Awarding 2022 World Cup host rights to Qatar a 'blatant mistake', says FIFA official
A FIFA official has termed the awarding of the 2022 Football World Cup to the desert state of Qatar as a 'blatant mistake', adding that staging the tournament in winter would be just as big a problem.
According to Stuff.co.nz, the statement of FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger has come after president Sepp Blatter repeated his view that the finals could not be played in the traditional summer slot.
Attacking the decision, the German national said that it was a big mistake to award the hosting rights of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar in December 2010, adding that shifting the tournament to the winter months would put the unity of German football in danger.
Stating that a winter World Cup would mean public viewing with ice skating boots in freezing temperatures, Zwanziger also said that if the decision was a mistake it should be lifted and should not become an even bigger burden for those who are not involved by changing it to the winter.
Zwanziger, formerly head of the German football federation (DfB), also said that changing the World Cup to the winter is going deep into the structures of European national federations and also amateur football in Germany, adding that along with the unity of German football, the game pyramid is also in danger.
Zwanziger further said that a change in the playing schedules would continue to affect lower divisions in German football due to the link with promotion and relegation, although he added that it would not affect the Bundesliga.
According to the report, moving the World Cup to January or February would also have an impact on attendances and television viewing figures for other sporting events like the Australian Open tennis tournament, skiing and the Winter Olympics.
However, Blatter expected the tournament to be moved to the winter as temperatures in the country in June and July regularly hit 40 C or higher with 45 C recorded last month, adding that the players must be able to play in the best conditions to play a good World Cup.
The English Premier League, despite not having a winter break, has also repeatedly voiced its strong disagreement with moving the tournament to the winter months, the report added. (ANI)