Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter claims awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup was a mistake. The Swiss soccer official was in charge when the Middle Eastern country won the bid for the upcoming tournament. Blatter, however, continues to insist that he personally did not vote for Qatar.
In a recent interview with Swiss outlet Tages-Anzeiger, Blatter insisted there was a plan to give the United States the 2022 World Cup.
“The election of Qatar was a mistake,” Blatter said. “At that time, we actually agreed in the executive committee that Russia should have the 2018 World Cup and the United States should have the 2022 World Cup.”
“It would have been a gesture of peace if the two long-standing political opponents had organized the World Cup one after the other.”
Along with other obvious problems in allowing Qatar to host a World Cup, the former FIFA boss claimed that the size of the nation is also an issue. “It is a very small country. Football and the World Cup are too big for that,” Blatter proclaimed.
Blatter’s reign with the sport’s world governing body was from 1998 to 2015. Then the governing body essentially banned him from any FIFA activities following a corruption case. He was acquitted of all fraud charges in July. However, FIFA maintains its sanction against Blatter.
Blatter regrets that Qatar has won the World Cup venue
With the World Cup in Qatar less than two weeks away, there is more negative attention to the tournament than positive. Ten football associations, including England and Wales, are demanding that FIFA keep its promises on the migrant worker crisis.
Previously, FIFA agreed to help compensate Qatari migrant workers and their families. Thousands of these workers lived in abominable conditions. During the preparations for the World Cup, thousands were injured or even killed. However, FIFA has not yet addressed these issues.
In a joint statement, these nations demanded that the organization get down to business on the issue. “FIFA has repeatedly committed to providing concrete answers on these issues – the migrant workers’ compensation fund and the concept of a migrant workers’ hub to be created in Doha – and we will continue to push for them to be delivered,” the statement said. .
qatar world cup ambassador makes anti-lgbtq+ comments
Along with the migrant worker crisis, anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments within Qatar have also been a major concern. Homosexuality is illegal in the Middle Eastern country. The death penalty is a possible punishment for homosexuality. Qatar’s FIFA World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman even recently claimed that homosexuality “damaged the mind”.
In an interview with German outlet ZDF, Salman raised questions about the possibility of Qatari children learning “something that is not good” during the World Cup. “Let’s talk about homosexuals,” Salman continued. “The most important thing is that everyone will accept that they come here. But they will have to accept our rules.”
The World Cup in Qatar begins on Sunday, November 20.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Ulmer
World Cup 2022 Guide
Here are some resources to help you get the most out of soccer’s biggest event!