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FIFA president: It was a 'mistake' to have 2022 World Cup in Qatar

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the 2022 Qatar World Cup will likely have to be played in the winter.
By Aileen Graef   |   May 16, 2014 at 4:36 PM   |   Comments

DOHA, Qatar, May 16 (UPI) -- FIFA President Sepp Blatter admitted to Swiss television channel RTS that the decision to have Qatar host the 2022 World Cup was a "mistake" due to summer heat.

"We made a mistake. A mistake. You know we make lots of mistakes in life," said Blatter. "The technical report from Qatar indicated that it is too hot in summer but the executive committee, with a pretty substantial majority still decided that we will play in Qatar."

Temperatures can reach up to 122 °F in the summer in Qatar. Blatter said the games will most likely be played in the winter but the officials will not reach a final decision until later this year.

That is not the only problem plaguing the games' location. Allegations of corruption and abuse of workers have hovered over Qatar since it was announced they would be host. Many were shocked that Qatar was chosen over the U.S. and South Korea. Despite this, FIFA reaffirmed the error was only based on technicalities of weather and not any other conditions.

"As explained in his answer to the journalist, the president reiterated that the decision to organize the World Cup in summer was an 'error' based on the technical assessment report of the bid, which had highlighted the extremely hot temperatures in summer in Qatar," said FIFA in a statement after the interview.

Qatar has been accused of violating workers' rights and of being responsible for the death of hundreds of Nepali workers. Qatar recently said they will review workers rights and try to improve the situation. There have also been allegations Qatar bought the host award.

Blatter denies this: "I will never say that they [Qatar] bought it, because there was political pressure, from France, from Germany. We can't get involved in political considerations. We know very well that big French companies and big German companies work in Qatar. But they don't just work for the World Cup. The World Cup is just a small thing in what is happening in Qatar today."

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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Topics: Sepp Blatter
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