Three Questions for FIFA

October 13, 2013 11:43 am

Several senior figures of the footballing world including Sepp Blatter himself have come out recently saying that the Qatar World Cup needs to be moved to winter as it’s simply not viable to host the World Cup in the summer there due to the extreme heat.

In fact, UEFA has just announced that all 54 of UEFA’s member associations have also backed the move. It would seem that the general consensus is that a summer World Cup in Qatar would be madness and could easily end in tragedy for some supporters. I think I would have to agree with this however it does raise a few important questions that I think FIFA need to answer. Qatar receives world cup

Firstly, and most importantly, if the folly of a summer World Cup in Qatar is so obvious now, as it seems it is, how was this not spotted by the selection committee? This is an extremely important question and surely a full and transparent enquiry must be launched. In my mind there are really only 2 possible explanations. Either the extreme heat was not even considered, in which case, the procedures around selection need to be investigated further as they clearly aren’t rigorous enough. Or, the extreme heat was considered but for one reason or another, simply ignored. Either way, mistakes were clearly made by the selection committee and until FIFA explain what the mistakes were and how they are going to be fixed, there’s no way to be sure a similar mistake won’t happen again.

Secondly, if there’s time to move the global footballing schedule to accommodate a winter World Cup, surely there’s also time to re-run a selection process and perhaps select another location. Is changing the global calendar for several years simply because the selection committee made a mistake really the lesser of 2 evils?

Finally, if FIFA really are intent on moving to a winter World Cup. Perhaps the right thing to do would be to re-open the bidding process to allow other nations who didn’t originally bid for the World Cup because they could only host it in Winter to bid. If FIFA are changing the goal posts, surely the fair thing to do is to change them for everyone involved?

The bottom line is that FIFA clearly have lost a lost a lot of credibility here. Therefore, when they suggest that the World Cup should be moved to the winter, people are rightly suspicious. If it really is the only viable solution, then FIFA need to fully explain the decision and the reasons for coming to that conclusion. Only then will they be able to start to repair the damage to their reputation.

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