The Confederations Cup in 2021 will be moved out of Qatar and held in a yet-to-be-determined Asian country, a senior FIFA official has said.
The tournament, which is typically held in the World Cup host country a year before the actual games, is considered a dress rehearsal of sorts before the main event.
During the competition, the host nation, the World Cup holders, and the six continental champions usually qualify to compete in a two-week tournament.
But while in Doha this week, Jérôme Valcke, FIFA secretary general, said the event could not be held in Qatar due to its searing summer heat.
The weather was also cited as an impetus by a FIFA task force this week, which recommended the actual World Cup be moved to the cooler winter months in 2022.
A final decision on whether the tournament will be pushed back will be made by FIFA’s Executive Committee next month.
Emir defends World Cup
Meanwhile, during a days-long visit to the US, Qatar’s Emir yesterday fielded questions about corruption allegations regarding the nation’s bid for the international football tournament.
“Those allegations, I’d just said, there is a FIFA and they had people investigating and everything they investigated with everybody, all officials in Qatar, and they found out that there is nothing about (that).”
“This World Cup is for all the Arabs and that is why we were successful. It is a big challenge.”
He also joked with audience members about the US’s failed bid to host the 2022 games, reportedly sparking some laughter from participants:
“It’s bad to say that the race was between Qatar and America, to hold the World Cup of 2022, and I know that you guys, people here were very upset that how could this small country beat this great country, and I think you should believe … that you can lose sometimes.”