Qatar 2022 World Cup: Fifa under pressure to strip hosts after corruption arrests - but which tournaments have been moved in the past?

The Fifa World Cup, Cricket World Cup and Summer Olympics have all been affected by the change of hosts in the past

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The Independent Football

The crisis surrounding Fifa after 14 people were indicted in relation to a dual corruption investigation carried out by the United States' FBI and Swiss prosecutors has led to the future of the Fifa World Cup being thrown into question.

The 2018 instalment is due to be held in Russia, with Qatar set to controversially host the 2022 tournament despite fears over the extreme temperatures in the country and the current living conditions for migrant workers responsible for building the World Cup facilities.

But the arrest of 14 current and former Fifa officials, including vice-president Jeffrey Webb and disgraced ex-vice-president Jack Warner, has led to growing calls for the tournament hosts to be reconsidered if it’s found that the corruption allegations involve the campaigns to award the World Cup to Russia and Qatar respectively.


However, it would not be the first time that a major tournament would be moved from its original host, as we explain below.

1986 Fifa World Cup

Originally scheduled to be held in Colombia, the 1986 Fifa World Cup ended up being held in Mexico in a tournament that would become most famous for Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’. Colombia won the race to host the tournament, but after the South American nation was hit by severe economic troubles, they confirmed in 1982 that they would not be able to meet Fifa’s requirements and resigned from the role as hosts. Mexico were awarded the tournament in May 1983.

Maradona scores his 'Hand of God' goal against England in 1986

African Cup of Nations

The 2000 African Cup of Nations was co-hosted by Ghana and Nigeria after CAF stripped Zimbabwe of the right to hold the tournament due to their inability to meet the requirements and deadlines. The tournament was forced to be moved again for this year’s instalment after Liberia were hit by the Ebola epidemic, with the countries Antoinette Tubman Stadium transformed into an Ebola treatment unit. With all footballing activities suspended by Liberia in July 2014, CAF were forced to relocate the tournament after original hosts Morocco decided against holding the tournament due to the crisis. Morocco were subsequently banned from the African Cup of Nations, and the tournament was successfully held in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year.

Ivory Coast won the 2015 African Cup of Nations

1948 Summer Olympics

London held the Summer Olympic Games in 1948 with the tournament being run for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Both Tokyo and Helsinki had been due to hold the 1940 Olympics before the outbreak of the War in 1939, with Tokyo having already been stripped of the Olympic Games due to the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. London then won the right to host the 1944 Summer Olympic Games, but again this was cancelled with the Second World War continuing until 1945. Despite financial problems and severe rationing, London pushed on with their bid to host the Olympics for the second time after the 1908 tournament, and finally held the Summer Olympic Games in 1948.

The British gymnastics team at the 1948 Olympic Games in London

2011 Cricket World Cup

The 2011 Cricket World Cup would be unique in that it would be held across four different countries at the same time, with India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan all due to hold the tournament.

The Sri Lanka cricket team board a helicopter after the Lahore terrorist attack

However, the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009 cost Pakistan the right to host the Cricket World Cup as well as cancelled tours of the nation by other countries, with Pakistan’s ‘home games’ being played in the United Arab Emirates – although a decision to return to Pakistan could be taken soon given that Kenya played Pakistan A in five one-day games over 2014 and 2015.