The Boy Who Cried Gulf

Ever since December 4th 2010, everything about the 2022 World Cup has been made up on the spot. Nothing about it has seemingly been thought out before the bidding was made, a winter World Cup is on the cards, messing around with the European leagues and adding to the overall pain of it all Michel Platini has once again had to get involved.

The President of UEFA has called for not a Qatar World Cup, but instead, a World Cup which incorporates the whole of the Gulf. You know, Bahrain, UAE, that’s all involved in this idea from Platini.

The one positive to take from this is that some of the FIFA committee have realised Qatar alone can not hold a World Cup, that it isn’t feasible, that it isn’t possible.

Just a big shame that this realisation has come a month and a half too late. None of this was ever mentioned in the bid by Qatar in the build up to the big vote. No mention of moving it to the winter, no mention of it not being fully in Qatar at all.

Why should a bid change just because FIFA told them so? To me, this isn’t FIFA’s problem until at least 2020, when they see if the building is on schedule and that everything is on time. This is now down to the organisers of the bid, they said nothing about a winter World Cup, so it should be held in the summer (even if logistically it is a nightmare) and it should be in Qatar, no where else (even if logistically it is a nightmare).

Spreading the World Cup around the Gulf will be a nightmare, all the building plans for the new stadiums being built might as well be chucked out the window. Remember that nice thought where they would transfer the stadiums to the third world countries, forget it, might as well not happen.

And Qatar are not the finest nation (up to 105 in the world at least), but a few more of them? UAE are slightly better (102nd), Bahrain are flying in 93rd. Then there is Oman in 104th and Yemen in a toasty 127th. We want the best teams in the world playing in the best international competition in the world. Not some pretty average teams who will struggle in the group stages, lose some teams who will be competitive, no other Asian teams might as well bother trying to qualify.

Anyway, does Michel Platini have any right to go on and say what the Qatar World Cup should be like? He is the President of UEFA, no interest what so ever on Asian football. He should care more about Russia and 2018, and just that.

In theory it seems sensible, spread it around. But it is too late, you can’t promise one thing and then change it completely, it undermines the entire bidding process. USA, Australia, Korea and Japan might of well not have bothered, or maybe they should have promised unreasonable things, but get to change them after wards. It is what FIFA are doing to Qatar, and I can’t imagine Qatar are too happy about it.


Posted on January 12, 2011, in Football and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Everyone knows the FIFA voting process is corrupt but if Platini is really saying that Qatar cannot physically deliver the stadia it promised in its bid then there has to be a major investigation into how it got the world cup. The one good thing is that Platini has not left it too late to get things changed. While it is not great that all this has kicked off 6 weeks after they won the bid that is preferable by far to the situation with the Korean GP where 6 days before practise we did not know if the circuit would be capable of holding the event or the Commonwealth Games where teams pulled out just before the Games started because a pedestrian bridge collapsed and the athletes accomodation was filthy.

    The one good thing about Platini’s announcement is that there is time to sort the mess. Whether FIFA sorts it or not is a very different matter.

    • I think one of the most telling things is the guy in charge of anti-corruption at FIFA left because he felt they didn’t care about dealing with corruption…

      I know there is still 11 years to go, but my point is all this should be finalised if they have announced a host. We shouldn’t be having the discussion now, should be 6 months or so ago.

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