Skip to main content
News |

FIFA executive: Qatar should not host the 2022 World Cup

Executive warns that even managing temperatures in the stadium would be insufficient as the cup 'does not take place only there'
Construction at al-Wakrah Stadium, one of the proposed host venues to be delivered ahead of the World Cup (AFP)

Qatar should not host the 2022 World Cup because of the scorching temperatures in the Gulf country, FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger said on Monday.

"I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar," the German told Sport Bild on Monday.

"Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions," said the former German football (DFB) chief, who is now a member of the world football's governing body FIFA that awarded the tournament to Qatar in 2010.

Although Qatar has insisted that a summer World Cup is viable thanks to cooling technologies it is developing for stadiums, training areas and fan zones, there is still widespread concern over the health of the players and visiting supporters.

"They may be able to cool the stadiums but a World Cup does not take place only there," Zwanziger said.

FIFA is also looking into shifting the tournament to a European winter date to avoid the scorching summer where temperatures routinely rise over 40 Celsius.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa chaired a meeting to discuss the matter earlier this month with the options of January/February 2022 and November/December 2022 being offered as alternatives to June/July.

However, talk of a potential change away from the usual June-July dates has resulted in plenty of opposition from domestic leagues around the world, worried the schedule switch would severely disrupt them.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in May that awarding the World Cup to Qatar was a "mistake" and the tournament would probably have to be held in the European winter.

"The Qatar technical report indicated clearly that it is too hot in summer, but the executive committee with quite a big majority decided all the same that the tournament would be in Qatar," he added.

Both FIFA and Qatar World Cup organisers have come under the spot light for corruption allegations since they were awarded the tournament back in 2010. An expose by The Sunday Times newspaper revealed that millions had been paid to FIFA decission makers by a Qatari official, an allegation the Qatari's deny.

Qatar has also been harshly criticised for the conditions provided for migrant workers' in the tiny but wealthy Gulf state. Several commentators on social media have referenced human rights violations in Qatar as a more significant reason for the country not to be allowed to host the World Cup.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.