Qatar will not host the 2022 World Cup according to a top FIFA official, despite the country having already invested heavily into infrastructure and development for the event.
Theo Zwanziger, a German member of FIFA has told Sport Bild Plus, that Qatar could lose its campaign to host the football showcase because the country’s high temperatures pose a risk to the health of players and fans.
“Doctors say, and I had insisted on this point in the protocol, that they cannot guarantee that a World Cup can be held in summer in these conditions,” he said.
Despite developing a stadium cooling systems, Zwanziger says the stadium is not the only place people visit during a World Cup.
“Fans from around the world will be coming and travelling in this heat and the first life-threatening case will trigger an investigation by a state prosecutor,” he said. “That is not something that FIFA Exco members want to answer for.”
FIFA officials would not discuss on Zwanziger’s comments suggesting it was not the view of the whole committee.
“He is expressing a personal opinion and he explicitly says so,” a FIFA spokewoman said. “We will not comment on a personal opinion.”
Eight years out from the tournament, Qatar has begun building a $US45 billion city to host the World Cup it might end up losing.
The publicity surrounding the Middle Eastern host has been overwhelmingly negative, many confused as to why a country with no soccer history, no soccer stadiums, and 120-degree summers is hosting the sports pinnacle event.
There has also been skeptism around the legitimacy of Qatar’s bidding process to win the hosting rights for the tournament. FIFA has recently completed an investigation into the bribery allegations but results of the investigation will not be made public.
Australia was one of the countries which has its bid to host the cup fail, spending millions of dollars in the process. However David Gallop, the FFA chief, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Australia re-entering the race to host the event if Qatar loses it as a result of the allegations.
Sport Bild Plus has more.
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