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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

10/09/2013 - 08:58 BST

Europe Doesn’t Rule The World Anymore – Sepp Blatter Hits Out At Opposition Towards “Winter World Cup” For Qatar 2022


Tuesday, 10th September, 2013

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has refused to allow "only European needs" to determine hosting times for the 2022 World Cup, believing such a policy to be tantamount to discrimination.

Qatar winning the rights to host the 2022 World Cup has not been without much debate, especially over the fact that the summer months would make it near impossible to play in healthy conditions.


A proposal to move the tournament to the winter was made by Blatter, and taken to the FIFA executive committee (ExCo), but has faced severe opposition from European leagues.

The disruption to league fixtures has been the biggest factor here, but Blatter has pointed to the dangers of setting a very serious precedent if the competition is forced to be staged in the summer.

"If we maintain, rigidly, the status quo, then a FIFA World Cup can never be played in countries that are south of the equator or indeed near the equator," Blatter told Insideworldfootball.com.

"We automatically discriminate against countries that have different seasons than we do in Europe, and we make it impossible for all those who would love to host the world's biggest game in a global tournament to ever get the chance to do so.

"If we automatically exclude potential hosts because of the weather, then the next step can easily be exclusion for other arbitrary and discriminatory reasons. I am not going to be party to any such thing."

Indeed, the decision to shift the World Cup to Qatar's winter months will be put to sterner tests in October when the ExCo meet.

And Blatter, whilst admitting there were mistakes made when the rights were granted in 2010, insisted hosting a World Cup in the summer was not a rule set in stone.

"I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world anymore," Blatter added.

"Point 1.2.1. [of the bid registration document] stipulates that the [World Cup] is 'scheduled to take place' in June and/or July of 2022 'in principle'. It does not say that it 'must' take place in those months, nor is it a 'conditio sine qua non' to host the World Cup in June and July.

"It may well be that we made a mistake at [in 2010]. 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 only the needs of 800 million Europeans?"

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