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FIFA Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves Over Qatar Mess
Footytubeblog (Blog) 3 years ago
FIFA - football's top governing body designed to protect and promote the interests of the beautiful game on a global scale - have created a shambolic mess of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (or supposed to be in Qatar), and every member from President Sepp Blatter downwards should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

The furore over the impossible task of staging the most glorious and coveted competition in world football in scorching 50 degree heat under a dessert sun is a problem caused by a mixture of their own arrogance, incompetence, internal power struggles and corruption, and it makes an absolute joke of what the organisation is supposed to stand for.

Does anything actually make sense about holding a summer World Cup in Qatar? FIFA's own assessors judged the middle-east country's bid as 'high-risk' before the votes were even held three years ago, not that it should take an entire team of analysts to come to the conclusion that playing in the middle of a dessert during the hottest season of the year might prove to be a danger hazard for the players and an incredibly unenjoyable experience for the supporters.

Add that to the fact that the vast majority of those attending the tournament will come from the other side of the world, and that, at the time of Qatar's bid, they had almost no infrastructure at all in terms of Stadia to hold a World Cup, not to mention that once 2022 has passed the country will have 606,000's worth of seats for a 2 million population, and the whole idea only becomes more absurd.

So why did FIFA go with Qatar? Because of their own arrogance when it comes to all things political, and the obvious advantages of getting into bed with an oil-rich nation. Blatter has remarked on more than one occasion that he wants FIFA and international football to have a global reach that spans beyond the United Nations, and it seems the organisation simply couldn't resist the glory of bringing one of the west's greatest and most successful sporting traditions to a Muslim country that couldn't be more different in terms of politics, society and culture.

The plan had been to hold 2018 in Russia followed by staging the next tournament in the United States four years later, in a testimony of FIFA's power by bringing together two of the world's leading super-powers that were formerly the most bitter of foes, but amid America's generation-spanning war on terrorism, it was felt that Qatar would provide a stronger message of football's ability to bring the world together.

You might argue that FIFA should be commended for their mission of uniting two of the world's seemingly most bi-polar political forces over the course of ninety minutes, but to do that you'd have to ignore the obvious capitalist agenda of opening up new markets and further exposing the middle-east to the international game, which will undoubtedly trickle down to European club level and benefit football financially as a whole.

At the same time, you'd have to overlook the regular allegations over the corruption of FIFA's voting process; in 2011, Lord Triesman of the English FA alleged that Qatar had bought the votes of at least two FIFA officials, Trinidad and Tobago's Jack Warner reportedly demanding a $4million education centre and Paraguay's Nicolas Leoz asking for an honorary knighthood for their votes, whilst the Sunday Times have also claimed that Jacques Anouma of Cameroon and Issa Hayatou of the Ivory Coast were both paid $1.5million to support Qatar's bid.
Additionally, the Daily Mail have claimed that influence from politicians upon members of the FIFA executive committee, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy who reportedly tried to persuade Michel Platini to vote for Qatar, was at an unprecedented level for the 2022 World Cup nominations, although it has become a regular occurrence over the years.

Now FIFA are caught between a rock and a hard place, as Qatar's proposed stadia-cooling technology is branded inadequate and the governing body holds an internal review over whether the tournament should be moved to winter, which has landed them in a whole heap of trouble with everyone from national FAs to broadcasting companies in America, as well as Australia, who are now planning to sew FIFA on the grounds that it could have provided a more convincing plan to hold the first ever winter World Cup if it had been informed that it was a viable option.

But even the new debate over whether the competition should be held in the summer or moved to winter, which will put domestic football seasons, the Champions League, the Winter Olympics, American sports and television schedules completely out of kilter for the years to come, is shrouded by FIFA's internal power struggle between Blatter and his political rival Michel Platini.

The two were once great friends, the latter being the protégé of the former, but Platini has made plans to run against his old master in the 2015 elections for FIFA's presidency, and as a result, Blatter is beginning to play dirty as he refuses to relinquish power.

Whilst Blatter has been incredibly vocal about how a summer World Cup is 'not rational', and voting for Qatar was a 'mistake', despite remarking that a winter tournament would be inconceivable just over a year ago, Platini hasn't had too much to say, because he's one of a rare few FIFA officials who have openly admitted to voting for Qatar's absurd bid, which has only been made worse by the recent revelations that up to 4,000 migrant workers could die by 2022 building Qatari stadia due to reportedly appalling working conditions that verge upon slavery.

Similarly, Blatter has begun to attack Platini's European powerbase, being the incumbent head of UEFA, by declaring that the World Cup can't simply be designed to serve 800million Europeans or the old colonial powers, in turn rallying the support of the poorer nations he's continually promoted the interests of during his 15-year presidential reign.

From top to bottom, start to finish, FIFA has never had the interests of professional footballers, paying supporters or the beautiful game at heart. Scratch the surface of almost any FIFA official, and it's not hard to find an ulterior motive somewhere along the line. The governing body has been out of shape and unfit for purpose for some time, but their own benevolence, arrogance, corruption and stupidity is now putting football's holiest of holies - the World Cup - in jeopardy.

Even if a successful resolution is found for Qatar to stage the tournament in 2022, FIFA's name and reputation, and subsequently football's name and reputation, has been dragged through the dirt by a selection of money-grabbing politico bureaucrats, that do not deserve to be credited as human representatives of the beautiful game.

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.

By Greg Newcombe

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