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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Blatter ruffles feathers after calling Qatar’s World Cup a ‘mistake’

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Sepp Blatter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has raised eyebrows in the football community once again over another set of off-the-cuff remarks made in a recent media interview.

When asked today by Swiss channel RTS about Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup during its searing summer months, the official said “it was a mistake” to award the tournament during this time period. He explained:

“Of course, it was a mistake… But you know, one makes a lot of mistakes in life. The technical report for Qatar stated that summer temperatures were too high. However, the executive committee of FIFA decided to award the World Cup to Qatar with a broad majority despite this.”

However, he denied allegations that Qatar had “bought” the tournament, saying that “it was more about political forces.”

The remarks prompted some consternation in Qatar, with residents on Twitter saying:

https://twitter.com/Al_Anood/status/467219195743051776

https://twitter.com/vanish_forever/status/467224383606366208

https://twitter.com/JessAlice7/status/467247756403159040

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy declined to comment.

But in a statement, FIFA clarified that Blatter’s latest remarks did not mean the president was calling for Qatar to lose hosting rights to the tournament. It said:

“As explained in his answer to the journalist, the President reiterated that the decision to organise the World Cup in summer was an “error” based on the technical assessment report of the bid, which had highlighted the extremely hot temperatures in summer in Qatar. At no stage did he question Qatar as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”

Backstory

Earlier this week, Blatter confirmed that he planned to run for a fifth term as FIFA president next year – though previously, he said his current term would be his last.

So far, the only person to formally declare their intentions to run for the post has been Jerome Champagne, a French ex-diplomat and former secretary general of FIFA. Champagne has recently come out against Qatar’s bid to host the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Blatter this week expressed his support for potential changes Qatari officials have pledged to make regarding the country’s kafala sponsorship system.

The official has backpedaled about his position on Qatar’s World Cup before, but most recently appears to favor the idea of a winter tournament, due to the heat concerns here during summer.

A decision on whether the games would be moved, however, is not expected to be announced until after the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

Thoughts?

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KK
KK
7 years ago

Trust me I am a banker.

RS99
RS99
7 years ago

I hope I’m proved wrong but I don’t think it’s going to be a very fun place for a World Cup

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

It’s simple , it really is. Sepp ‘bellend’ Blatter never voted for Qatar he voted for the USA. However Platini did vote for Qatar and he is likely stand against Blatter in the FIFA leadership elections which make India looks like a model of anti-corruption.

He is just positioning himself to disgrace Platini and win the next election and keep the money rolling into his friends and relatives bank accounts.

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
eak
eak
7 years ago

If these english newspapers worry so much about human rights and people dying i would love to see one of them give syria and palestine this much publicity. its all hate from uk and us newspapers which is understandable.. we won they lost. dont pay attention to it

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
7 years ago
Reply to  eak

Qatar didn’t “Win” the World Cup, it was controversially awarded the right to host it.

Given that it wasn’t even the best the bid & was officially classified as “High Risk” by the FIFA technical committee. Coupled with the fact that Qatar currently does not have the infrastructure to hold such an event & has zero legacy in the Football arena. I fail to see how you are surprised that people question the decision.

The IOC wouldn’t even let Qatar’s bid for the Olympics in 2020 proceed to voting stage & I quote said “Too Small, Too Hot & Too Risky”!
Which kind of speaks volumes really…

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  Turbohampster

By “won” he meant the bid.

eak
eak
7 years ago
Reply to  Turbohampster

Stop picking at every word i say, you know exactly what i meant by ‘we won’. I dont mind them raising questions about it. Im not even that confident about it myself… But i dont like this new approach everyone is taking and promoting us as inhumane murderers

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
7 years ago
Reply to  eak

Nobody thinks or is saying all Qatari’s are inhumane murderers, to do so would be ridiculous!

Everybody is criticising the Kafala labour system as it basically enables modern day slavery!

Seeing as you live in the UK it must be nice to be able to leave the UK without permission, change jobs without permission & even apply for citizenship if you should so wish!

eak
eak
7 years ago
Reply to  Turbohampster

Read comments on websites and see what the majority think. Its all unjustified hate which stems from anti-arab propaganda, so we shouldnt pay attention to it. Half these idiots look uneducated I doubt any of them know anything bout the kafala system.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago
Reply to  Turbohampster

The fact that Qatar doesn’t have a ‘football history’ whatever that might mean is totally irrelevant. The point of the World Cup is to bring the Sport to new audiences, to encourage new players and to educate through sport. Otherwise, you may as well say no to all of the nations who haven’t held it yet. As for the heat- manage it, it isn’t that difficult. Play at night, move it to cooler months, Qatar isn’t the only hot country who should be entitled to have a turn at hosting the tournament.

The Avenger
The Avenger
7 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Your argument is nonsense to be frank . You need to meet the bidding criteria and technical submission which now it turns out Qatar didn’t . It’s not based on opinion it’s based on set out criteria like the tournament is to be held in summer. Im not sure what you don’t get by a contractual binding agreement to bid on specific set out points.
How do you manage 50 degrees of heat and 70% humidity whilst holding the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet , please enlighten me and the fellow readers on that point ?
No one is entitled to the WC and by your logic everyone needs a turn which is rubbish . This country is not ready socially or culturally for the mass influx of people who will arrive.
FIFA and this bid is flawed along with the 2018 bid , everybody knows that and this will run and run . A pure travesty for world football.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

Your argument seems therefore to limit the World Cup to only those Nations who have already been engaged for a generation or so. If FIFA only ever consider the tried and tested, the rest of the world will remain on the sidelines. As or the issue of Climate, Qatar’s bid included measures to manage the temperature issues, which included air cooling as well as timing – no one is going to play football at 12 noon. I personally see no problem at all in moving the tournament to cooler months. It is mainly some European nations who are objecting to that based on potential lost revenue- that in itself can be managed- I don’t see why sending a squad to the World cup utterly defeats the local game- might actually give some home grown players a chance to show what they can do..
As for everyone deserving ‘a turn’- well actually I didn’t say that , but now you mention it, perhaps they should.

The Avenger
The Avenger
7 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

The movement and safety of 600,000 visitors plus the teams and ancillaries is impossible in a Gulf summer , you know it and everyone else does , the issues of air conditioned stadia are untried and untested . Qatar won the bid on a summer event and between themselves and the corrupt organisation that is deemed FIFA have backracked and made a mockery of the game.
I’m all for a winter competition if it’s in the bid , if it’s not in the bid then that’s not fair or applicable to other bidding nations .
The FIFA technical and saftey submission reports all report a poor to dangerous report on playing the tournament at this time of year , that initself cancels out the 2022 bid from Qatar , it’s a non starter.
Let’s see how they configure and construct the 12 proposed stadiums plus an intelligant interfaced public transport sysytem plus around 30Billion dollars worth of road network in 8 years . I’m sure we’ll not have a repeat of the NDIA or Sidra or the D Ring or The Pearl………..etc etc etc

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  eak

Err don’t know much about the rest of the world do you. The uk and the uk govt is constantly highlighted the death in Syria and also the treatment of Palestinians by the Israelis. The issue are raised at the UN and various global forums time and time again. The fact uk media questions Qatar’s bid, highlights bribes paid to bin hammam, a FIFA exco’s member whose son landed a top job in Qatar after the ‘win’ bears no relation to the tradegy in Syria and Palestine

eak
eak
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I wasnt talking about bribery allegations or FIFA members, thats another issue. The subject I referred to was the arguments people are discussing on forums of how inhumane we are and the amount of workers that will die here. And obviously the world cup bears no relation to deaths in Syria, also not what i was saying. I live in the UK i know very well how much its publicized here. Gather up all the articles about Syria and Palestine and then contrast it to the number of deaths that occurred there and then gather up all the ‘inhumane’ articles about the world cup and contrast that to ‘predicted’ deaths that will occur… not even ones that have occurred yet. My main point was people that wna play the humanity card should first devote their efforts on problems 1000 times the scale.

Myrddin
Myrddin
7 years ago
Reply to  eak

Well if you are affronted by the reports in UK, where you live – you can always leave?

Cheap, I know, but irresistible. 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

Leave Mo chowdury alone…….

eak
eak
7 years ago
Reply to  Myrddin

Very cheap because im actually against anyone who says that on these forums.. read my other comments. But anyway I was talking about their newspapers not the country.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  eak

Of course they give far more attention to places like Palestine and Syria than they do to Qatar. Pieces on Qatar are comparatively rare. You really should try reading a newspaper sometime.

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
7 years ago

I guess you missed the countless articles in the Uk and international press criticising Russia on that very issue, just as they are doing to Qatar?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Certainly not but Qatar has been directly involved in the deaths of thousands in Libya and Syria. They didn’t pull the trigger but they did supply the weapons to their favorite side

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Along with the NATO.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Yes NATO was involved in Libya but not Syria. That’s just you, Saudi, Russia and Iran, not to mention Qatari proxies in Lebanon as well.

The point is your argument is very weak and that of a child, if at the first sign of (correct) criticism you say, ‘what about them over there they are doing something worse’. That is the defence you use in school to a teacher to try and deflect attention. The teachers have heard it all before and so has the rest of the world

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You’ve just lowered the tone of the argument, down to where you belong. My point was not weak, NATO has been directly involved in Iraq. So according to your logic none of the NATO countries should be able to host the WC.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

You’re deflecting again. The idiot Blatter said holding the WC in Qatar was a mistake because it is too hot. He didn’t say look at Syria and Iraq people are dying.

For whatever reason FIFA ignored their own technical report and awarded the WC to Qatar.

Media in other countries pointing out that

1. It is very hot in summer (true)
2. Some workers get mistreated and die to conditions in Qatar (true)
3. All workers operate under a system that breaches various UN conventions on human rights (true)
4. Qatar has very little football history (true)

I could go on but you get the point. No one compares the WC in Qatar to war zones around the world and very few in Qatar want to accept the reality, either Qatari (keep kafala and make it stronger) or expat (I want an NOC, so I can get more money!)

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I think you’re the one deflecting .. first it was the war thing and now media and the weather mixed with workers and a little bit of football history, plus Kafala. I think you’re just commenting for the sake of it, as always.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

If you read my first comment on this thread, it was about the real reason for Blatter’s comments. I just responded to your smokescreen to admitting the problems Qatar has and the over sensitive reaction to any criticism of Qatar.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I think you are the one deflecting. If you think Qatar has done as much harm as Russia to other countries and is therefore as bad a choice as Russia for the WC, then I am afraid most of the Western countries would fall under the same category. The US (which was expected to win the bid for the WC2022) is obviously on a league of its own when it comes to mass killings, drone killings, and barbarism in general.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Now we are very off topic but I agree the US has been directly responsible for a lot of mass killings in the last 20 years, but even the US cannot hold a candle to those who kill and oppress in the name of Islam. The sheer scope and number of countries currently affected is beyond belief. (No pun intended). As the US pulls back from the stupid wars it got involved in and the people are weary of the US foreign invention, who will combat those killing and oppressing in the name of Islam? To call out those crimes against humanity worldwide, is to bring the accusation of racism or islamaphobia.

So to start comparing the WC in Qatar to other atrocities in the world is a self defeating argument.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

It’s just a football tournament.
How about banning Germany because they dragged most of the world into a war? How about banning Japan due to their wartime atrocities? What about France and it’s record in it’s recent history? What about UK, attempting to subjugate half the planet during its Empire days?

The World Cup is just a sporting event, meant to bring people to bring people together regardless of colour or creed, regardless of past conflicts and animosity.

As a catylist for change it has proven effective, in focusing world attention on issues in the host country. As for the heat, just get over it, better than playing in driving sleet and North eastern wind. If it changes to the winter- IT DOESNT REALLY MATTER. there are 8 years to make arrangements. It’s just a football tournament.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

No Nato nation is scheduled to hold a future world cup.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

The US made the bid for the 2022 WC and lost it to Qatar. Analysts were expecting it to be the winner following the rotational logic FIFA used to work with (every 24 years or so it has to go to North America)

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Like I said, no NATO nation is scheduled to hold the world cup, so bringing NATO in the discussion is irrelevant.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

“Qatar has been directly involved in the deaths of thousands in Libya and Syria” This has to be the most libral usage of the word “directly” that I have ever seen!

However, if you wish to continue with this type of “logic”, well then, countries that “directly” took part in the invasion of Iraq, and the occupation that followed, are even less qualified than Qatar. That would disqualify, the U.S., U.K., Australia, and many more.

I wonder how many of the expats here on Doha News would agree with that?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

So supplying money and arms to people you know who are going to kill other humans is not being ‘directly’ involved? That’s the most liberal use of ‘I never realised that was going to happen if I did that’ I’ve ever heard……..

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

I do and I’m one of those expats.

Peter Parker
Peter Parker
7 years ago

No, it’s a rubbish choice. Of the nine countries that the FIFA inspection team visited, the two worst ranked were Russia and Qatar. Qatar was the only one ranked as ‘high risk’ – I wonder whatever persuaded the EXCO to go for the two worst bids?

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago

Dohanews- your headline is misleading. In your headline it says “Blatter thought Qatar WC was a mistake. But in reality the article states having it in the summer was a mistake. Huge difference. You are starting to sound like a gossip magazine rather than an objective news outlet.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago

We sadly have come to expect that 🙁 Also, I find it interesting that they didn’t update this story yet:

Shabina921
Shabina921
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

That’s been in this story since it was published this afternoon – right after the tweet reactions.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

Considering that the WC is a summer event and all countries were bidding on that premise the statement would be one in the same. Nowhere during the bidding process was there any talk of moving the WC to the winter.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Absolutely not one in the same. If it was, the headline would have stated Blatter thinks having it in the summer was a mistake. The whole point of headlines is to grab your attention. Unfortunately sometimes with misleading statements.

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago

Maybe his latest payment is overdue

Diego
Diego
7 years ago

He has the capability to offend even when he’s trying to be honest(trying key word).Perhaps a choice of words could be…I understood that a summer World Cup in Qatar would be one challenge,but know Qatar,and FIFA are determined to work around the challenges in the best possible manner. He needs to be able to support decisions in public,end of story.

Masboro
Masboro
7 years ago

Sepp Blatter simply says what his particular audience wants to hear at the time and then forgets about it. It is 8 years before Qatar stages the WC and there is lots of time for him to change his mind and declare that that was the perfect choice and that there will be no issues with holding it during summer.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Of course selecting Qatar’s bid was a mistake. FIFA’s own assessment reports made this clear from the start.

But Qatar’s bid was selected nevertheless, so let’s move on and give Qatar the opportunity to prove the skeptics wrong.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago

It was a stupid comment by Blatter, and one he should have avoided. He knows very well that his words will make headlines and will be misinterpreted. His words will create more embarrassment for both his organization (FIFA) and Qatar, in a time when the country is fighting an international wave of bad PR (that seems sometimes directed for a specific agenda by some obscure parties). I might be wrong, but I will not surprised if he did it on purpose.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I think bad PR it comes directly from within….

Luciano Salvatore
Luciano Salvatore
7 years ago

Mistakes do happen. Get on with it.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Mistakes ? The smoke to the fire is that someone paid someone a lot of under the table money. Now Im not saying its true thats just the word on the street.

rambling rose
rambling rose
7 years ago

Sepp Blatter is 78. Will he even be alive in 2022? What will his successor decide about the WC in Qatar? This issue is not going to go away. I hope Qatar can cope with this continuing focus on WC preparations from the international media. Qatar need some good PR people if they are going to counter this relentless negativity. And they need to convince outsiders that they are tackling the issue of worker conditions. The weather is a separate issue and out of their control.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
7 years ago
Reply to  rambling rose

Even if he will be alive , he might be in the guiness record for the oldest person to be on earth from Switzerland. …lol

zoeval
zoeval
7 years ago
Reply to  rambling rose

Qatar doesn’t need good PR people to convince outsiders that they are tackling the issue of worker conditions – they need to tackle the issue of worker conditions.

chris morgan
chris morgan
7 years ago

im from the UK and i am sick of the negative comments coming out about Qatar staging the world cup.
its the same old countries that stage these events so how can it be called the world cup.
Football is a global sport and Qatar and its companies sponsor some of the biggest European teams.
Football is about engaging everyone in the world in a game that politics should not touch.
Many teams in the previous world cups have said they under perform because the players are tired after a long domestic season. Well teams like England etc , your excuses will not be there when the world cup is played towards the beggining of the season. It will show that switching the timing will produce the best football and world cup im sure
All the football ;Leagues of the world have years to prepare for this to switch their season around for one year to allow for another great region of the world to stage the world cup.
Instead of FIFA saying they have made a mistake ,they should be viewing this as an opportunity to involve an expanding football loving nation and middle eastern region.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

These soccer players need to harden up in Australia we play Australian Rules Football, Rugby and if you are a bit soft soccer in 40 plus degree heat. The overpaid ballerinas need to drink a can of ‘ I’m hard’ especially given the outrageous amount they get paid. I say keep it here and see if they are worth their money! Otherwise pay the Australian Football League to hold their grand final here to teach the soccer world about real competitive combative sport without whining . 😉

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago

None of this matters. Qatar has the world cup in 2022. Like it or not. Even if you don’t like how they go it, you should at least appreciate that it helped create work that brought a lot of us here.

I’m not going to go into ethics here, will leave that to others. But just from a practical point of view, what would you prefer, to cancel it? And along with it a huge number of projects and the jobs that go with them?

And if you say keep it then the rest is just details, summer, winter, cooled stadium, whatever, they should figure it out. In F1 the drivers are trapped in a hot car wearing a fireproof overalls, helmet, gloves for 2 hours while using considerable physical energy to drive, losing around 4kgs in the process as they dehydrate. And they still race, and now also in hot countries like Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, etc so they adjust the time of the race a bit, and just suck it up and get on with it (admittedly the racers are tough guys, so it might feel more difficult for football softies that spend more time on their backs faking injuries). How did these new venues convince F1 to go there? By paying a lot of money. It’s much more straightforward in F1, while in football I suppose you have to incentivize the process to go your way.

Anyway, if you enjoy debating the finer details of how the world cup was awarded and how suitable Qatar is as a venue, as an academic exercise, go ahead, but I don’t believe for a second that FIFA will change venues, regardless what they, people, governments etc say.

AnotherPilot
AnotherPilot
7 years ago

Wow!! I see NATO, Libya, US, UK, WAR, death etc. on this thread???? I thought soccer and the world cup are all about cheering and celebrating??

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