FIFA has today officially confirmed its proposal to move the World Cup 2022 in Qatar to a winter slot, with the final set to take place on December 23rd.
Accusations of a sizable amount of money having changes hands in order for Qatar to have secured the deal are now looking more accurate than ever, as after FIFA acknowledged that the Arab country is likely pretty hot in the middle of summer, the organisation has decided to rework the football season’s entire global schedule around hosting the event there.
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Staging the World Cup in Qatar has led to an outpouring of criticisms from prominent figures in the sport and fans alike, with FIFA President/human ballbag Sepp Blatter having faced allegations of bribery due to his choosing of the unlikely country as the host of the worldwide event. Hundreds of migrant workers have already died developing the stadiums in the country, while its Dark Ages approach to human rights, including its laws against homosexuality, leading many to state that there is no reasonable justification for Qatar to have been given the honor. And they’re right.
The death toll for workers developing the stadiums in the country is only set to rise as temperatures increase and they’re forced to work longer hours. Human rights organisations have already condemned Qatar officials’ treatment of them, though nothing will seemingly stop men with money reaching their deadlines, not even the deaths of their impoverished employees.
Not only does Qatar 2022 pose a huge ethical problem, it will also stand to have a detrimental impact upon the footballing year. Seasons will have to be rearranged, domestic cups rescheduled and many foreign fans unable to travel to the World Cup due to its final taking place just two days before Christmas. While the event taking place in the winter at least ensures fans and players alike won’t collapse in the stadiums due to the immense heat the country endures in the summer, it shouldn’t be taking place in Qatar at all. Though FIFA deny any wrongdoing when it came to their selection of the country as the 2022 World Cup host, it’s difficult to imagine a meeting in which Qatar would have ranked highly on their list of go-to regions to host the event if it wasn’t for money exchanging hands between the football organisation and the oil-rich country.
Here’s the full statement from FIFA:
“Following a six-month consultation process, FIFA’s Task Force for the International Match Calendar 2018-24 held its third and final meeting today in Doha, identifying end-November/end-December as the most viable period for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.
Various proposals for alternative dates to June/July for the 2022 FIFA World Cup were assessed at the three task force meetings by representatives of the football community at confederation, member association, league and club level as well as representatives of FIFPro, the ECA, the EPFL, the CEO of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ Local Organising Committee, Hassan Al Thawadi and FIFA’s medical experts.
The members deliberated over the various options to determine the least impact on the national and international football calendars. This included a preliminary discussion on whether the traditional timeframe for the preliminary competition will remain or whether the qualifiers window will be moved to staging the final phase on early 2022. To finalize the international match calendar for the 2018-2024 period, the Task Force will reconvene in the same composition after the FIFA Executive Committee will have decided on the final 2022 FIFA World Cup dates. The date to be confirmed in due course.”
Maybe they should have deliberated over options to determine the least impact upon the lives of the poor workers constructing the stadiums instead.
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