womenforfootball.com – Football fans may have noticed the recent buzz around FIFA official’s comment about “potential cancellation of Qatar World Cup 2022 due to heat”. Here is an article on 5 mistakes FIFA make in Qatar World Cup controversy. It was recently published at SWOL.co as well:
“Qatar will not be hosting the 2022 World Cup games”, said FIFA executive committee member. Theo Zwanziger’s bombshell swept news media on Monday. Almost immediately after, FIFA Spokesperson clarified this comment was solely “Zwanziger’s personal opinion” and postponed official comments to FIFA’s meeting in December.
The issue is not merely the fact that FIFA has awarded hosting World Cup 2022 to Qatar. The issues have rather been the embarrassing mismanagement by FIFA ever since that decision. Here, we look at top 5 mistakes FIFA have made in managing the controversy.
- Qatar Heat: The main reason for cancelling 2022 World Cup is life-threatening heat in Qatar, according to Zwanziger. This is a fact well pointed out by many critics and health officials long time ago. The question is why FIFA officials have realized this point now? It seems rather odd that access to Internet and simple research on weather temperature in Qatar, could not be made by FIFA officials before awarding the biggest Sport event to Qatar.
- Changing date to Winter World Cup: One of the proposed suggestions by FIFA to escape Qatar heat during Summer has been to move the World Cup games to Winter instead. A first-time occurrence in history of football, if materializes, that will be a major disruption to European, African, and majority of Asian and South American league teams. With the exception of Japan, South Korea and USA, about 29 participating national teams will have to change their league schedules from Autumn-Spring to Spring-Autumn a year head.
- Not protecting Labour rights in Qatar: Although not surprising to emphasize that FIFA never interferes with Human Rights issues of the hosting country, but it has been an outcry for help for thousands of exploited migrant workers who have lost their lives, an estimate of 970 so far, during stadium construction due to heat and safety issues, while they legally “belong to an employer” and have no right to leave their jobs or leave Qatar once hired. The fact that FIFA puts a deaf ear to Amnesty International’s warnings is cause for concern for the only Organization body of football.
- Insisting on rotation policy: FIFA’s rotation policy is one of the prides of FIFA president, Sepp Blatter’s initiative since 2006. The rotation policy mandates the organization to award World Cup games each time in a different continent. True that will prevent favoritism towards European continent hosting the games over and over, but just because in 2022 it will be Asia’s turn to host the games, it does not mean all Asian countries have the required conditions to host a major football event.
- Hiding bribery investigation report: Another mismanagement by FIFA has been putting a lid on bribery investigation report during Qatar World Cup bidding process. Michael Garcia, New York Lawyer who is the leading investigator into bribery charges involving Qatar and FIFA officials, has publicly challenged FIFA to publish the report he has submitted to the organization. The fact that some of FIFA members are likely involved in bribery charges and therefore FIFA refuses to disclose the report, not only jeopardizes the whole process of awarding World Cup games to bidding countries, but also undermines the whole Organization’s legitimacy.
As evident by these facts, FIFA is managing the controversies in the worst possible way in every sense and the trouble does not end there; Whatever the decision FIFA takes in cancelling 2022 Qatar World Cup or keeping the plans as is, or even modifying the schedule of the games, FIFA will inevitably be the biggest culprit of 2022 World Cup games. They are the ones who will be held accountable for making the decision without a thoughtful process in the first place.