Saturday, 8 January 2011

World Cup 2022: Blatter Sorts It Out

FIFA president Sepp Blatter expects the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be held during the winter, rather than over its usual summer slot when temperatures there can reach 40 degrees celsius. European domestic football would be widely affected if the competition was moved, but so far Blatter's stuck to his guns. A summertime competition in Qatar would reduce matches to a gentle walking pace. In that terrible heat too, who would want to sit and watch?

But how could European players participate in a winter event? It's hard enough to persuade th
eir clubs to release them for occasional friendly practice internationals. To try to remove them altogether for large chunks of their domestic seasons would prove impossible.

Blatter's helpful suggestion? Move the European leagues out to the summer. Simple. Sadly though, he doesn't explain how to deal with the knock-on effect into the following season. The enormous disruption would arise solely from one man's bizarre judgement in awarding football's showpiece event to a country unsuited to hosting it.

Blatter has been severely criticised for his decision, and various allegations have been made concerning his motives in selecting Qatar. He also continues to block the introduction of goal-line technology, again a stance widely slated. Across many countries, in the public mind FIFA's reputation is rock-bottom; to begin restoring credibility its despots must go. Blatter's in his mid-seventies. Why is he still in office?

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