FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger said on Monday September 22nd that he believes the 2022 World Cup will not ultimately be held in Qatar because of the high temperatures in the country. FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to tiny. largely desert Qatar was one of the most controversial decisions in sporting history, and Qatar has been dogged by claims of worker exploitation and abuse during the construction of the facilities for the cup. According to current estimates, 4,000 workers (mostly from Southeast Asia) will die in the process of constructing the stadium for the World Cup.
Statements from FIFA’s Zwanziger about Qatar
“I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar,” Zwanziger told told the German newspaper Sport Bild in an interview.
“Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions,” continued Zwanziger, a long-time exec in the German national soccer program who is now a member of global governing body FIFA who scheduled the 2022 tournament for Qatar in 2010.
“They may be able to cool the stadiums but a World Cup does not take place only there,” Zwanziger said. “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.”
Any decision about the location of the 2022 Cup will be made my the entire FIF executive committee, and not just Zwanziger, but he is known as an outspoken and influential member of the exec committee.
Discussion of rescheduling tournament from summer to winter
Sources also note that FIFA officials have been considering shifting the tournament to a European winter date to avoid the scorching summer in Qatar where temperatures typically soar over 100 degrees F.
However, the discussion of moving away from the usual June-July dates for the World Cup has resulted in plenty of opposition from domestic football leagues around the world, with managers arguing the schedule switch would be a severe disruption.