Friday, 16 May 2014

Awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was a “mistake” - Fifa president, Sepp Blatter


Fifa president Sepp Blatter has admitted that awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was a “mistake”.

Speaking to Swiss channel RTS, Blatter acknowledged that the soccer world governing body has made an error in giving the world showpiece to the Asian nation due to the extreme temperatures in the region.

"Of course, it was a mistake,” Blatter said of the decision to give the World Cup to Qatar to host.

“You know, one makes a lot of mistakes in life.

"The technical report indicated clearly that it was too hot in summer, but despite that the executive committee decided with quite a big majority that the tournament would be in Qatar."

The 78-year-old Swiss denied that Qatar had “bought” the World Cup, despite the large amounts of money and sponsorships in their campaign.

"No, I have never said it was bought, but that it was due to political considerations,” he said.

"We know full well that big French and German companies work in Qatar, but they don't just work for the World Cup. The World Cup is only a small part of what is going on in Qatar."

Following Blatter’s remarks, Fifa then released a statement clarifying their president’s comments.

"The comment by the Fifa President concerning the organisation of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar to Swiss TV station RTS is in line with previous comments on this matter," read the statement.

"As explained in his answer to the journalist, the President reiterated that the decision to organise the World Cup in summer was a 'error' based on the technical assessment report of the bid, which had highlighted the extremely hot temperatures in summer in Qatar.

“At no stage did he question Qatar as hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup."

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