ZURICH, Switzerland (CBSDC) – According to an interview with Inside World Football, FIFA president Sepp Blatter acknowledged that awarding the 2022 summer World Cup to Qatar may have been a “mistake” due to the extreme temperatures experienced by the region during the time when the event would take place.
The World Cup has traditionally been played during the summer months of June and July. According to The Weather Channel, the average high temperature in Qatar is 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blatter admitted that holding a tournament in that dangerous heat “was simply not a responsible thing to do,” and that in regards to the committee’s decision on the location, they “may [have] made a mistake at the time.”
A proposal was reportedly made to move the World Cup to the winter months, but many European nations responded negatively to the notion, as such a change would conflict with their league’s schedule.
“I was not completely surprised because Qatar, like all other bidding nations, had bid for staging the World Cup in summer,” Blatter went on to say to Inside World Football.
Even though the World Cup as always been played during the summer months, there is no rule that says it must be played during the summer.
“If we maintain, rigidly, the status quo, then a FIFA World Cup can never be played in countries that are south of the equator or indeed near the equator,” Blatter added. “We automatically discriminate against countries that have different seasons than we do in Europe, and we make it impossible for all those who would love to host the World’s Biggest Game in a global tournament ever get the chance to do so.”
According to Blatter, FIFA has the final say where the tournament can take place – and other nations may need to be more flexible in the future.
“It is FIFA who can and has the legal right to determine where it wants the World Cup to be played,” he went on to say. “I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world anymore.”