World Cup onus lies with Fifa

22 September 2013

The furore surrounding Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 football tournament is no fault of the country

As pressure mounts on Qatar being allowed to stage the 2022 football World Cup finals, Doha has been unequivocal in its belief that the country will be hosting the event. In fact, the more pressure applied from different sources, such as European football leagues, former Fifa officials and a large US television network, the more Qatar seems to grow in stature.

What seems to be forgotten in the clamour to strip Qatar of its right to host the event is that the country was just as hot in 2010 as it is now in 2013. The promise of air-conditioned stadiums notwithstanding, there are real questions surrounding the Fifa officials who visited Qatar and reported that June was a good time to play and watch football in the Middle East.

Qatar’s organising committee has shown admirable restraint in the face of a multi-pronged attack on its right to host the event and has won many admirers for keeping calm under such provocation.

There is obviously a clear issue with a summer World Cup in Qatar and there are also several obstacles that need to be resolved if the date is changed. However, with almost nine years before a ball is kicked, there is ample time to iron out all of these problems.

The onus really does lie with Fifa. Qatar rightly says no rules were broken when it bid for the tournament and that all of the criteria set by Fifa were met. It is to Qatar’s misfortune that football’s governing body seems intent to allow the situation to descend into chaos before it acts.

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