Qatar received a shock after FIFA withdrew its decision to hold the Confederation Cup 2021 in Qatar, the organiser of the FIFA World Cup for 2022, as per a statement from FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.
In a statement to Agence France-Presse (AFP), Valcke said the Confederations Cup will be held in another Asian country yet to be announced, due to the extremely hot summer weather in Qatar, when the championship will take place.
The hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022 by Qatar has been controversial all along for the same reasons. The FIFA is to decide whether or not to change the date of the tournament to avoid hot summer, on the condition that it is held within 2022.
The major European clubs, especially the English Premier League preferred to hold the World Cup in April or May, so that it will not significantly affect the schedule of local championships
FIFA President Sepp Blatter however said the solution to this issue is to hold the final game by 18 December, adding that he will propose the idea to the FIFA Executive Committee in their monthly meeting in Zurich. Blatter added that he is against holding the World Cup between 26 November and 23 December.
Meanwhile, Valcke denied that FIFA would pay compensation to the clubs for the possibility of holding the FIFA World Cup for 2022 in winter.
A study published on the FIFA official website discussed giving Qatar the opportunity to hold the FIFA Club World Cup between November and December 2022, before the World Cup for nations, in case it was decided that the later would be held in winter. This way, the Club World Cup would be a rehearsal to test the hosting country’s ability to organise the cup before the big championship.
Some accusations have been made more than once regarding Qatar having bribed voters on the executive committee. French President Nicolas Sarkozy at that time pressured the President of the Union of European Football Association Michel Platini to vote for Qatar in return for Qatar’s buying of Paris Saint-Germain. The club was at that time going through a huge financial crisis, with the deal also allowing Qatar to establish a sports channel in France. These claims were followed by an investigation by the British Parliament after The Sunday Times published an article on the issue. FIFA, on the other hand, conducted an investigation in 2011 and was not able to get any results because of the lack of evidence. Qatar’s organising committee denied these accusations.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) also accused Qatar of forced labour of workers without consideration of international labour protection laws, with pittance for salaries and poor health conditions. The ITUC demanded that FIFA withdraw its decision for the Cup to be held in Qatar and to hold a re-vote, considering the labour protection laws in any country applying.
President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach has previously welcomed hosting the World Cup in Qatar during the winter of 2022. During his visit to Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Olympics in 2016, Bach said that it is a wise decision and will be of benefit to the World Cup and the Olympic games.
Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, however, denied the accusations of bribing voters to vote for Qatar.
Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington, he said that FIFA conducted its investigations with all officials in Qatar and found no evidence.
He also added that the FIFA World Cup is for all Arabs and they have gained the vote to host it, pointing out that the US was a competitor to Qatar on hosting the cup. “You need to know that you may lose from time to time,” he jokingly said.