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Sepp Blatter says it was a 'mistake' awarding 2022 World Cup to Qatar

Joe Harker

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Sepp Blatter says it was a 'mistake' awarding 2022 World Cup to Qatar

Sepp Blatter has admitted that giving Qatar the 2022 World Cup was a 'mistake' and revealed where he thinks this year's tournament should have been held instead.

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It's a contribution which might have been a tad more useful if he'd said it while he was still FIFA president and the competition wasn't less than two weeks away from starting.

As for reasons behind thinking it was a mistake to give the World Cup to Qatar, you can probably take your pick.

The biggest one is probably Qatar's appalling record on human rights, especially when it comes to women and the LGBTQ+ community.

Meanwhile, at least 37 migrant workers have officially died working on the construction of new stadiums to play the World Cup in, though The Guardian reports that over 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since it was awarded the competition.

Another of the big gripes is the extreme heat which has forced the World Cup to be played in the winter, plonking it right in the middle of most nation's domestic football seasons.

Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid Chief Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani and then FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2013. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid Chief Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani and then FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2013. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

However, Blatter's main cause for concern was none of those.

Speaking to Swiss publication Tages-Anzeiger, the former FIFA president who resigned in 2015 amidst a corruption scandal admitted that Qatar was too small to host an event as large as the World Cup.

He said: "The choice of Qatar was a mistake. It's too small a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for that.

"At the time, we actually agreed in the executive committee that Russia should get the 2018 World Cup and the USA that of 2022.

"It would have been a gesture of peace if the two long-standing political opponents had hosted the World Cup one after the other."

Blatter was head of FIFA back in 2010 when Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup and admitted it was his fault, saying: "I was responsible for that as president at the time."

Sepp Blatter admitted Qatar should not have been awarded the 2022 World Cup. Credit: FORRAY Didier / Alamy Stock Photo
Sepp Blatter admitted Qatar should not have been awarded the 2022 World Cup. Credit: FORRAY Didier / Alamy Stock Photo

The former FIFA president did go on to say he was 'glad' that almost no footballers were boycotting the 2022 World Cup, and claimed that FIFA changed the criteria for awarding their top tournament after the deaths of construction workers in Qatar.

Fans travelling to Qatar to watch the World Cup in person have been warned to be aware of the nation's harsh rules and the differing norms between Qatar and many other countries.

Many World Cups see lots of fans drinking alcohol in public, something which isn't allowed in Qatar, and some groups are nervous at how law enforcement will react when the World Cup begins.

Police forces from the UK, US, France, Italy, South Korea, Turkey and Pakistan will be lending officers to help monitor the crowds of fans who arrive.

As for how it turns out, we'll have to wait until the 2022 World Cup kicks off on 20 November to truly find out.

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: World Cup, Football, Sport, News

Joe Harker
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