Sepp Blatter admits awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup may have been 'mistake'
The Fifa president wants the tournament to now be moved to the winter
Tuesday 10 September 2013
Awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may well have been “a mistake”, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said for the first time on Monday.
Staging the tournament in the Middle East has caused much controversy because if it is held over its traditional dates in the middle of the year, players will have to contend with searing 50 degrees Celsius heat.
Calls to move the World Cup to later in the year, during the European winter, have also been unpopular as it will cause major disruption to domestic league competitions in countries such as Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France.
Asked by insideworldfootball.com about awarding Qatar the tournament, Blatter said: "It may well be that we made a mistake at the time."
Blatter, who in May said it was "not rational" to play in Qatar in June and July, added: "On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities.
"The World Cup is FIFA's biggest, if not only, global event. Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all?
"I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world any more, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will on to others in far away places.
"We must accept that football has moved away from being a European and South American sport - it has become the world sport that billions of fans are excitedly following every week, everywhere in the world."
Blatter hopes FIFA's executive committee will endorse his proposal to switch the tournament to the winter.
If such a move is rubber-stamped, the Swiss added: "The next steps will include a close look at the international calendar and to establish what consequences the change would have.
"We would naturally need to speak to and consult with all interested parties and stakeholders."
Qatar defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to win the right to host the tournament for the first time.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre