2022 World Cup ‘will not be in Qatar’

GERMANY’S FIFA member believes the 2022 World Cup will be moved from Qatar due to the extreme temperatures.

Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar. Picture: Creative Commons

Theo Zwanziger, who sits on FIFA’s all-powerful executive committee, believes the threat of legal action may force the World Cup to be moved.

FIFA has always stressed the World Cup will be in Qatar but is currently looking at moving the dates to the winter. Organisers in Qatar insist cooling technology in stadiums, training bases and fan zones would enable them to hold the tournament at any time of year including the summer.

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Zwanziger told Sport Bild: “I personally believe that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar.

“Medical experts say that they cannot accept responsibility for a World Cup taking place under these conditions.

“They may be able to cool the stadiums but a World Cup does not take place only (in the stadiums). Fans from all around the world will be coming and travelling in that heat and the first life-threatening case will trigger an investigation by a state prosecutor.

“That is not something that FIFA executive committee members will want to be responsible for.”

No decision has yet been made on the timing of a winter World Cup but there has already been opposition from leagues and clubs.

Meanwhile, a British MP who has campaigned for FIFA reform has written to the Serious Fraud Office asking that it demands a copy of FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia’s report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Damian Collins believes the SFO has the right to be given a copy as it has previously investigated corruption allegations made by former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman.

Hans Joachim-Eckert, the German judge who is the head of the ethics committee’s adjudicatory panel, stated last week that the report’s contents would not be made public.

Collins says in his letter to the SFO: “I am writing to ask if you would request from FIFA a copy of Michael Garcia’s report. FIFA seems to believe it is a self-governing body that operates outside the jurisdiction of international and national law enforcement agencies.

“I do not believe this is the case and that if they hold information that indicates that offences may have been committed this must be shared with the relevant law enforcement agencies.”