FIFA president Sepp Blatter finally has admitted that awarding Qatar the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup might not have been the best idea.
“Of course, it was a mistake,” Blatter told Swiss television station RTS, via Reuters. “You know, one comes across a lot of mistakes in life.”
Summer temperatures in Qatar, a nation smaller in area than the state of Connecticut, routinely exceed 100 degrees. Blatter said FIFA’s executive committee was aware when making its selection that the country’s weather conditions in the summer are not ideal for soccer.
“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,” Blatter said.
Because of this oppressive heat, Blatter said it is “more than probable” that the tournament instead will be played during the winter months.
When Qatar beat out the United States and Australia in its bid to host the 2022 World Cup, many accused the selection committee of corruption and/or bribery. Blatter denied the bribery allegations but said political pressure from France and Germany did play a role in FIFA’s choice.
“I will never say (Qatar) bought it,” he said. “We know full well that big French and German companies work in Qatar, but they don’t just work for the World Cup. The World Cup is only a small part of what is going on in Qatar.”
A U.S. World Cup would have featured games at 18 venues around the country, including Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.