On Thursday 18th March FIFA confirmed, what most if all, the football world knew; That the 2022 world cup in Qatar is going to be a winter world cup. The world cup will start in November with the final being held on the 18th December. This controversial decision was made due to the extremely hot weather which is experienced in the region in the months of June and July, when the world cup is usually hosted. Even with air conditioned stadiums there is a fear for fans health and safety between games.
This original decision to award the world cup to Qatar, the first to be hosted in the gulf region, was very much of a surprise. There has been much outcry from the European football leagues, most vocally from the English FA. The FA are no strangers to openly criticising FIFA, which has resulted in damaged relations between the two organisations. Threat of legal action, which the FA as said it would support, is unlikely to repair the fracture relationship.
The thing that must be remembered is that this is a world cup, and even though 75% of players playing in Brazils world cup last year ply their trade in European leagues; Also the move to winter instead of summer, along with preserving player and spectators health, it also lessens the chances of the quality of the games being affected by the searing heat. FIFA’s mistake was not addressing this fact at or even before the bidding process was conducted. If the option to host a winter world cup then more countries may have bid. Or if this had been disclosed before the vote then delegates may not have voted for Qatar.
The more worrying situation which need addressing is the Russian world cup in 2018. With the recent conflict with the Ukraine, with thousands of civilians being killed and the laws against homosexuals; The winter Olympics proved that they can host a sporting event involving the world best, the question is should they be allowed too?