FIFA denies speculation on 2022 move
Mere hours after FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke told a French radio station that he expects to see the 2022 World Cup moved to a winter schedule, a spokesman for the world football governing body has moved to silence rumblings by stressing that no decision has yet been made.
January 8th, 2014
Worries over the stiflingly hot and humid conditions which would greet the world’s elite footballers were they to play their World Cup games In Qatar during the usual months of June and July have led to overwhelming calls for the showpiece to shift down to the end of the year – fears which so far have not been adequately allayed by FIFA.
However, Valcke has bravely stepped into the fray, speaking out of school to claim that the World Cup will be played at a more appropriate – and safer for both players and fans – time of year.
Speaking to Radio France, Valcke said that “if you play between November 15 and the end of December that’s the time when the weather conditions are best, when you can play in temperatures equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe, averaging 25 degrees. That would be perfect for playing football.”
The news broke and was quickly splashed on many news sites, prompting an especially rapid response from FIFA – one which, if they’d made this decision as efficiently, wouldn’t have caused the problem in the first place.
A spokesperson affirmed that Valcke was merely sharing his own opinion on the staging of the tournament – which was awarded to the Gulf nation over bids from England and Australia among others in 2010 – and says that no decision is to be made at least until after this year’s event in Brazil.
“The precise event date is still subject to an ongoing consultation process which involves all main event stakeholders, including both the international football community – Fifa confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs, players – as well as Fifa’s commercial partners.”
You hear that, everyone? Sod the organisation needed to keep people safe during the extreme weather conditions at the world’s most popular sporting event; if one of the sponsors feels they won’t be able to properly promote their particular brand of soft drink during the hottest time of the year in one of the hottest places in the world, then we’re stuffed. And stuffy.