FIFA President Sepp Blatter: Mistake to award World Cup to Qatar
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was a 'mistake' and that the tournament will most likely have to be held in the winter because of the region's extreme heat.
Since the decision was made in December 2010, the choice of Qatar as a World Cup site has been highly criticized. FIFA has started an investigation into the voting procedures of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Russia will host in 2018.
"Of course, it was a mistake. You know, one comes across a lot of mistakes in life," Blatter said, via Reuters.
"The Qatar technical report indicated clearly that it is too hot in summer, but the executive committee with quite a big majority decided all the same that the tournament would be in Qatar," he added.
Asked whether the World Cup was likely to be held in the European winter, the 78-year-old replied: "It's probable, yes. In fact, it's more than probable."
Blatter said Qatar did not buy the World Cup and implied political pressure from France and Germany played a part in awarding the games to Qatar.
"I will never say they (Qatar) bought it," he said.
"We know full well that big French and German companies work in Qatar, but they don't just work for the World Cup. The World Cup is only a small part of what is going on in Qatar."
Qatar has also been criticized over its treatment of migrant workers, many of whom are working on infrastructure projects to the World Cup. Hundreds of workers have died.