Big news out of the soccer world today. FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger says he doesn’t think Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. This is a groundbreaking statement given that FIFA awarded the cup to Qatar earlier this year.
Zwanziger made the statement to German publication Bild.
“Personally, I believe that the World Cup will not take place in Qatar in 2022,” Bild said. "Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions. They may be able to cool the stadiums but a World Cup does not take place only there. Fans from around the world will be coming and travelling in this heat and the first life-threatening case will trigger an investigation by a state prosecutor.
"That is not something that FIFA Exco members want to answer for."
The decision by FIFA to award the World Cup to Qatar was ridiculed from the start. As Bild alludes to, summer temperatures in Qatar can easily reach 115+ degrees. That’s reason enough not to hold the event in Qatar. Then you learn that migrant laborers are being used to build the stadiums and infrastructure for the Cup, and that many of these laborers have died in deplorable work conditions, and it’s easy to see why FIFA’s decision is so wildly unpopular.
Now, before you run around telling your friends that Qatar lost the World Cup, keep in mind that this is just Zwanziger’s opinion. FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer noted this today while declining to address Zwanzinger’s words.
“He is expressing a personal opinion and he explicitly says so,” Fischer says. “We will not comment on a personal opinion.”