In an interview with Swiss TV station RTS, FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted that awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup was a mistake.
His full quote (as translated 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.”
Using “one makes a lot of mistakes in life” to absolve himself and his organisation of blame might rub people the wrong way. But the frankness of that quote shows how much of a disaster Qatar 2022 is turning out to be.
A new study commissioned by the Qatari government found that 1,000 migrant workers have died in the country in 2012 and 2013. While Qatar maintains that none of these workers were working on World Cup projects, the sheer amount of supporting infrastructure needed to stage the event — roads, hotels, public transportation, communications centres — makes everything a World Cup project to some degree.
The deaths of migrant workers is the most outrageous problem associated with Qatar 2022, but it’s far from the only one.
The event will probably have to be moved to winter because of the oppressive summer heat — something that will wreak havoc on pro leagues and TV deals.
Many of the FIFA executive committee voters who endorsed the Qatar World Cup have since been banned for ethics violations, including a one executive whose 10-year-old daughter reportedly received $US3.4 million after he voted for Qatar.
Even before the voting took place, FIFA’s own internal analysis of the bids was sceptical of how Qatar would stage the event.
Here’s FIFA’s operational risk assessment comparison between the U.S.’s bid and Qatar’s:
Blatter himself voted for the U.S. over Qatar in 2010. Since then, though, he has fully backed Qatar as World Cup host in the face of intense scrutiny.
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