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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Report: FIFA’s decision to move Qatar World Cup to winter a ‘done deal’

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

FIFA is strongly favoring the idea of pushing back the 2022 World Cup from the summer to the end of the year so that it can be held during Qatar’s cooler months, according to a new report in Sports Illustrated.

Citing multiple anonymous sources, the publication states:

“The current plan is for only one European club season to be impacted schedule-wise, which the clubs are hoping to achieve by cutting some international dates. One key question is what to do about Confederations Cup the year before, but the big World Cup decision has been made. Set your calendars for November-December of 2022.”

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. UPDATE: In a statement sent to Doha News, a FIFA spokesperson said she could not comment as the consultation process is ongoing.

The World Cup is traditionally held in June and July, when temperatures in Qatar can reach nearly 50C.

Cooling technology at FIFA Brazil fan zone at Katara, summer 2014.
Cooling technology at FIFA Brazil fan zone at Katara, summer 2014.

Organizers here have said they are prepared to host the football tournament at any time of the year, and have been testing cooling technology to keep temperatures comfortable inside stadiums, fan zones and other hotspots.

But FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said several times that it would be an “error” to hold the Qatar World Cup in the summer, after FIFA’s own technical report recommended against it.

Winter timetable

A task force to determine the dates for the 2022 World Cup met for the first time in September. Two winter time periods – January/February 2022 and November/December 2022 – have been under consideration, as well as the original summer plan.

But January/February was immediately criticized due to concerns that the World Cup would clash with the winter Olympics.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

And the November/December dates came under fire from the European Professional Football Leagues, which represents 844 clubs in 22 countries.

The teams previously argued that shifting the dates would have an adverse effect on timetables for domestic matches, and would harm leagues’ business interests.

Meanwhile, American broadcaster Fox – which paid a record amount for the broadcasting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups – has also voiced concerns over a winter World Cup, which would clash with its coverage of National Football League (NFL) games.

The FIFA task force is expected to convene in Doha next week on Feb. 24 to make its final recommendation, and the Executive Committee will decide the World Cup dates during its next meeting on March 19.

Thoughts?

53 COMMENTS

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AEC
AEC
6 years ago

If the terms of the original bid are being changed then there should be a re-vote. I’m sure with Australia being in the southern hemisphere they would have preferred a different time of the year also.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Why should Qatar get a different deal than everyone else who bid?

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I still don’t understand why there has been no fall-out from the reduced number of stadiums. It was my impression that several of the stadiums where to be sent to poorer countries after the WC. As part of the original bid, a unique feature in itself, are there no legal requirements to follow-through? Or, are the reduction of stadiums only the ones that were meant to be permanent?

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

The reduction is not confirmed. 12 stadia is a bit too much for the competition and it would be better if all bidders stick to 8.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Disagree.
When the WC is held in a larger country, having 12 stadiums means they get to ‘spread’ the tournament around their country as they have every right to do so.
There is however, no point having more than 8 stadiums here.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Isn’t the discussion premature given they haven’t got even one compliant stadium yet? Nobody seems to be asking the question of whether they can even get it done. If the airport is anything to go by the 2022 WC will be held here in 2028.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Spreading it is not always economical and it impacts the players.. Having it in a single location or limited location reduces players downtime due to travling, reduces costs associated, and reduce requirement for players to travel

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

That is just boring though!
They base teams in certain areas so they don’t have to go up and down the country but by having games in say the north and south, more people in the country get to watch.
Anyway we should never feel sorry for these poor footballers on mega bucks having to do a bit of extra travelling!

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

yawn

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

Let the contract change/violation lawsuits begin. I bet the lawyers are frothing at the bit for this one.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I’m not sure but don’t all bidder sign a waiver document which pretty much days you can’t sue FIFA.. Anyone with better insight ?

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Probably, but there are always ways, particularly when dealing with multiple national legal systems.

RS99
RS99
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Yes I’m pretty sure membership of all football associations is on that basis. If you sue, you are out of the association, simple. Obviously associations tend to have an internal complaints procedure….. It may also be possible to go to the Court of Sporting Arbitration in some cases, not sure

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  RS99

I think you’re right, but based on that, the flood of lawsuits will be inevitable, and this could finally be the issue that breaks FIFA apart, replaced with a new body.
The worlds best clubs lose all their best players for 6 weeks in the middle of the season, FA Cup cancelled, and maybe Champions League matches. I’m not even a football fan, but the money at stake to these clubs is staggering..

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  RS99

No doubt, but I’m sure that creative lawyers can find a way.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

The lawsuit I was expecting was going to be from Fox, which paid a fortune for the broadcast rights. But it looks like FIFA has already done a backroom deal and handed them the 2026 broadcast rights without letting ESPN and NBC even submit a bid. Read between the lines…

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/fifa-2026-world-cup-tv-rights-fox-2015-2

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

But naturally they hear these lawsuits in the Qatar courts, so it will be at least 2023 before they are heard and even later before a decision will be received….which of course will be appealed and further frustrated due to non-attendance by witnesses and the accused.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  wee_johnnie

YEah, no. I can’ imagine any FIFA contract using anything but a Swiss court, but regardless, you then get into the issue of other legal systems saying that you can contractually sign away your right to sue, yada, yada and so it goes.

RS99
RS99
6 years ago

It was always going to be in the winter surely. How could it possibly be in the summer? Difficult not to see the whole thing as a big lie

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  RS99

So why was the bid based on it being in the summer? I’ve no problem with a winter WC but the voters had their views blocked by large piles of cash they didn’t even think to question the summer time during the bidding process!

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

A winter bid would not have been entertained at that point, or best case considered and rejected

Peter Parker
Peter Parker
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

A bid at any time should have been considered and rejected. Qatar’s bid was the bottom of the pile and the only one described as ‘high risk’.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

A giant cash igloo of coolness instead of piles.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  RS99

Lets face it, WC2022 was a con from day one.

DonTom
DonTom
6 years ago

A win for Qatar….all the other countries will have players withheld by their clubs, so Qatar will progress further in the tournament.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  DonTom

Qatar will not score a single goal during their three games.

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Wrong! in football, anything can happen. see above table.
2002 FIFA World Cup Group ATeam
The same French team that won 1998 World Cup playing beautiful football from Barthez to Zidane finish below Senegal, Denmark and Uruguay in group stage. Enough said my friend. Or u need more example?

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  Smile

That’s a poor example. Senegal were ranked 42nd at the time and the lowest ranked team in that group.
Qatar are currently ranked 109th

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

ok. do you know what Qatar would rank in 2022? + before 2002 world cup, if u where told France will not score a goal, would you believe?
If Senegal ranked 42 can beat France ranked 1, then anything can happen come 2022.
Six years is enough to build a good team + Qatar would have advantage of playing at home. South Korea ranked 40 beat Spain ranked 8 to play in Semi Final and Germany ranked 11 sweat to beat South Korea 1 – 0 to play in the final due to Korea home advantage.

Locki
Locki
6 years ago
Reply to  Smile

yeah, you mean home advantage as referee advantage, right? did you see the Spain-Korea on that semifinal in 2002? OMG, it was and armed robbery, please look for it in youtube to understand your poor example… Btw, 6 years is enough to build a good PROFESSIONAL team, but not a national team. You can buy tomorrow the Olympic Lyon, put billions in the field and buy Messi, CR7, referees, etc… and winning then the Champions (maybe) in 6 years time. But you can not create from a 300.000 people population country a winner team formed of 22 players in just 6 years. Maybe in single sports (as Al Attiyah in the Dakar) but not in a competitive team game.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Smile

Depends on how many passports Qatar hands out.

Peter Parker
Peter Parker
6 years ago
Reply to  Smile

South Korea beat Spain due to cheating, plain and simple. There’s loads of reading on the net about this. Still, Qatar can use the same tactic; I mean, they cheated to get the tournament…

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Current FIFA ranking put Spain in 10 and Belgium in 4. Do u think Belgium is better than Spain?

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

The grouping for Qatar in will be as follows:

Chad
Kyrgyzstan
Eritrea
Qatar
Just wait and see…….the next round will also ensure some route to reasonable success.
More than likely, out near Duhail, there is a secret athlete training facility where specially breed Qataris are being trained by none less than David Beckham (explains why he keeps randomly showing up at things here). These new athletes were created with one simple goal – to win football matches causing more uproar in European countries, who are really the only ones (Brazil and Argentina are exceptions) allowed to really consider themselves of any import to this silly little game.
Any other conspiracy theories to start? 🙂
The World Cup nuts need something else to talk about…..serious….its just a game people.
The above comments are tongue and cheek or what is called sarcasm….it seems we have to clarify that or everyone will think I am serious…..

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

2002 FIFA World Cup Group A Team

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Depends who is playing for them by then

sicti
sicti
6 years ago

What about underground stadia? :)) This way WC can be held during summer 🙂

Jaden Smith
Jaden Smith
6 years ago

Winter will be nice

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

I hope they reduce the required stadiums. 12 or 9 makes no sense, 5 is more acceptable espically given the WC will be hosted in one city.

Building more than 2 or 3 stadium for any WC is a waste of resource for any city or country. I hope the hosts of 2026 and 2030 either have existing infrastructure or encourage hosting in a single location or close cities.

This also helps reduce host city carbon footprint of having to build new stadiums and infrastructure associated with new stadiums. And reduce the fans carbon foot print from shuttling from one city to another.

This also helps the players where they’re accomdation, meals, gym and training ground stays the same through out the tournament. Loads of players and coaches didn’t enjoy travling for hours right before a game in 2014.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

8 is the minimum allowed

guest
guest
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Having 5 stadiums would be impossible during the group stages, you just couldnt play enough games in the time frame

Chief Kebab
Chief Kebab
6 years ago
Reply to  guest

Queuing Theory (any industrial engineers?) can tell you how many stadiums at minimum one would need to avoid bottleneck

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

All the other bidders already have the stadiums (and other facilities). If any of them were used that would reduce the carbon footprint even more.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Don’t see much point in building any stadiums at all to be quite honest. When the WC is over the gates will return to Qatar Joke League levels, only to be used in earnest for the Asian Cup when they get it or meaningless friendlies with sponsored blue-chip clubs. A waste of the worlds resources for a WC that is already tainted and divisive and which will fade from the memory even quicker than the last one in Brazil. The WC has been on a downward slope since Germany and it ain’t going to get better unless FIFA is swept away and integrity returns to the game.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Less stadiums make sense for Qatar and the WC is still feasible. However as always follow the money. The more stadiums that need to be built the more FIFA insiders can scam off the contracts for building those stadiums.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

I’ll get my chisel and carve it in stone…but not just yet. Maybe after some more mulling?

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

I think Qatar will do just fine with the WC. Football is boring anyway nowadays and most people go to it for the chance to snap some selfies with Ronaldo or some other fit overpaid person that’s good with his feet. They deserve the chance to be equally not impressed by a sporting event like the rest of us.

R.D.H
R.D.H
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

That is a personal opinion which I think most football supporters would disagree with, especially those who travel to the world cup! I certainly don’t watch football to get a selfie with anybody!

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  R.D.H

Why not? You’ll get a lot of likes on facebook afterwards 😛

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Wrong!…boring nowadays to you but absolutely interesting to me and millions of people around the world. And on the contrary most people go to enjoy what they love and not to take selfies. The white of Real Madrid runs through each one of my veins!. Football is a huge business that encompasses many profession, too huge and interesting to be boring. Hoping for a beautiful 2022 Word Cup in Qatar. its a game i love and hopefully, i would enjoy myself November – December 2022.
See you at the beautiful shining renovated khalifah Stadium come 2022 Miss. CoCo.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  Smile

Great, we can take some selfies there. 🙂

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

lol…that would be lovely. we can post on Dohanews afterwards.

Peter Parker
Peter Parker
6 years ago

‘FIFA’s own technical report recommended against it’ – not quite. FIFA’s own technical report had Qatar as the weakest of the nine submissions for 2018/2022 and the only one described as ‘high risk’. The second worst bid according to the tecnical committee? Russia. England’s was top.

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