Sepp Blatter, everyone’s favorite septuagenarian sporting bureaucrat, confirmed again something (let’s estimate) 98.9 percent of the planet already knew: awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was a bad idea. Somehow Blatter and his other cronies at FIFA failed to grasp that temperatures in Qatar in the summer are regularly well over 100 degrees when they award the tiny Gulf state the tournament back in 2010. In turn, FIFA’s been scrambling for months, if not years, trying to figure out a way to host the tournament in the winter, much to the consternation of UEFA and the leading European club teams.
Here’s part of what Blatter said to a Swiss television station, transcribed by the Guardian:
“Of course, it was a mistake. You know, one makes a lot of mistakes in life.
“The technical report indicated clearly that it was too hot in summer, but despite that the executive committee decided with quite a big majority that the tournament would be in Qatar.”
However Blatter’s concerns over the Qatar bid — which he reiterated wasn’t influenced by any outside corruption (I’ll add some wink-winks for emphasis) — remain with the heat aspect and scheduling chaos a winter World Cup would create. Blatter said nothing about the awful, brutal and often deadly working conditions for migrant workers in Qatar and its Kafala labor system which many have compared to modern-day slavery.
Politically, it only makes sense for Blatter to retroactively offer these misgivings about the Qatar World Cup since it looks like he’s going to run for FIFA President again in 2015 and will likely face off against UEFA President Michel Platini.
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