As events go, committee meetings usually engender the same level of excitement as that felt by Willy Wonka on hearing his dentist appointment has been brought forward.
“A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour,” was the assessment of American writer Elbert Hubbard. And if the judgement of Mr Hubbard is to be valued nearly one hundred years after his unfortunate death at the hands of a German U-Boat then it’s probably fair to assume such a gathering of bureaucrats won’t make for a great spectator occasion either.
However, even if you’re a sport hack more used to the drama-drenched fare of World Cup football, the deliberations of soccer’s biggest suits at the 28th executive committee (ExCo) on Thursday and Friday just might be different.
That’s because agenda point 25.2 will see a discussion on the future of the controversial 2022 World Cup in Qatar, an important bone of contention for a number of reasons:
1) FIFA’s credibility is on the line …
Ok, so maybe it’s a little like closing the gate after the horse has bolted on this one, but as the governing body for the planet’s most popular game, a sport that has a unique ability to enthral, unite and inspire people around the globe, is it too much to ask that those in power govern its future responsibly? FIFA’s recent effort to end racism in the game was admirable and in stark contrast to the farcical situation of recent years in which FIFA ExCo member Mohamed bin Hammam was banned for life, while fellow executives Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii were fined and suspended, on the grounds of corruption and bribery. Their involvement in the voting systems that delivered Sepp Blatter’s fourth presidency and Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup stained the results in many people’s eyes. The decision to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar - a desert nation whose July temperatures often reach 50 degress Celsius (122 degress Fahrenheit) and a location that even the chairman of FIFA’s medical committee (another one!) Michel D’Hooghe advised might not be the most hospitable climate for thousands of football fans to mill around in – has prompted a barrage of criticism. Much of that criticism has come from Europe, unhappy over the gathering momentum to stage the 2022 World Cup in the Qatar winter rather the summer. It is now FIFA’s task to show leadership and find a solution that will placate the dissenters. If discussions in Switzerland lead to the 2022 World Cup being moved elsewhere - given the billions of dollars (the New York Times valued the Qatar bid at $50bn) that has been spent on the bid process, where does that leave FIFA’s already shaky credibility?
2) Sepp Blatter’s legacy …
The curious shelving of the agenda point to limit the length and age limit of a FIFA president from May’s Exco could suggest Sepp Blatter feels he has much work left to do as head of the global game. The multilingual 77-year-old has his critics, not least for his questionable off-the-cuff comments. His previous suggestion that women players could wear ‘tighter shorts’ to enhance the appeal of their game, that homosexuals should ‘refrain from sexual activities’ if travelling to Qatar for the World Cup and that the adultery of former England captain John Terry would be ‘applauded’ in Latin countries, have done nothing to enhance his reputation. The fining and suspension or banning of corrupt FIFA officials - many of whom worked closely with Blatter - and his loose tongue arguably have come to define the Swiss administrator over what he would see as his major achievements. “The public perception of FIFA and FIFA’s view of itself don’t seem to connect in any way,” Alexandra Wrage, who resigned from FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee this year, recently told the New York Times. “The disconnect is pretty alarming.” Despite the disconnect, it was through Blatter’s drive that FIFA became one of the only major international organisations to recognize Palestine as nation and as his recent work to ease travel restrictions through Israel of Palestinian players shows, his commitment to this sensitive cause remains. It is also under his tenure that Asia and Africa hosted the World Cup for the first time and with Russia staging the 2018 tournament he has also delivered its debut in the former Communist bloc. Blatter feels that a World Cup in the Middle East would be his crowning glory, despite voting for the U.S. to host in 2022, and consequently it would be a big personal defeat if this opportunity slipped from his grasp.
3) Money matters …
The plan that many feel is the best way forward would be to reschedule the Qatar World Cup to a more hospitable time of year, around the month of November or January for example when temperatures average around 20C. This is a challenging idea to deliver because it would mean disrupting the league schedules and 100-year traditions of some of the world’s most lucrative sport franchises - including the European Champions League, the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A - for upto six weeks. Moving matches means shifting many of the events that broadcasters have paid multi-millions for and, importantly, would be wanting to tie up in contracts for the future. European football administrators have recently warmed to the idea of a winter move in principle but this could merely be their starting position for complex negotiations that may ultimately require compensation payments. On top of this, Fox Sports and Telemundo paid $1 billion for the rights to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in America on the basis the event would take place in June. The legal intricacies of any switch could be complex and time-consuming which plays into the theory that at most the ExCo this week will announce a task force to investigate potential solutions rather than rush the decision.
4) Cutural catalyst for Qatar ...
If FIFA were to take the nuclear option of moving the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar altogether, what impact does that have on the Gulf state? The accusations that Qatar supports a form of slavery for foreign workers and has ‘questionable’ prohibitive laws banning homosexual activity are just two areas that have come under scrutiny by primarily Western-based media recently. Whether the hosting of international sporting events really do act as a catalyst for the improvement of human rights is questionable but undoubtedly the exposure of the Qatari culture to the world, and vice versa, is an unavoidable result of staging one of the most televised events in human history. Advocates like Blatter would argue the potential for a greater understanding between differing cultures would be lost.
To add to the intrigue of the build up, former New York attorney Michael Garcia - head of the investigative arm of FIFA's ethics committee (that's three and counting) - announced earlier this week that he would be visiting all nations who bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to assess their bidding process.
A sign of concern that Mark Pieth, chairman of the Independent Governance Committee (four!), added to when he told CNN he had "very serious doubts" over the procedure that delivered the awarding of the tournament to Qatar.
The pressure is mounting for FIFA to act and to show that committees, despite their poor reputation, can deliver.
What credibility? The decisions have been made after bribes. Either direct monetary exchange, jobs for relatives or other obscene perks. FIFA has NO credibility. QATAR proves it.
why are we looking so far in the future as 2022 to condemn FIFA? We should be condemning them for the blatantly bribe-awarded 2018 world cup to xenophobic, homophobic, corrupt-to-the-max, dictatorial russia!
Many thousands Nepalese are working in Qatar but we are paid so less, treated so badly and working without having rights and laws, it's inhuman and speaks against the human right.... This needs to be checked and changed very soon. Manpower company are making business out of us, that needs to be transparent.
Then why the hell you go and work....for money rite...u will have good exchange money in rupees...if u fell work is more important then come back to india and work.
mate! there is not just Nepalese working and getting less pay in Qatar.. there is workers from India as well.. why dont you look after your people? you are so nice that you offered to work in India but we dont want to get robbed and we dont our sisters get raped in your country...cheers
The only event Quatar should be allowed to sponsor is the International Gathering of Slave owners
Absolutely! Qatar as well as most of the arab nations pretty much have modern day slavery! Workers have hardly any rights and their living conditions are nothing short of inhumane!
Some lines should not be crossed. Do we want the most beautiful tournament in the world stained by Slavery workers. I think no one does.
Players from the world should start announcing now that they will not take part in this event.
If I were still playing, I would have already informed my national team that I wouldn't be playing in Qatar.
Excellent idea! Should be propagated.
Anyone who's follows soccer knows that FIFA has no credibility to begin with!
Cant understand how a small oil rich country with billions to spend and with no football heritage can bag the world cup from much better alternatives. Blatter is either up to his neck in corruption or he is ignorant of what FIFA voted for or he thinks bringing football to the ME will end all wars thanks to him
Bribes of course! Bribes! In the mean, they don't a rat's butt about the human condition. They have been abusing the Asians for years. Slavery and Feudalism in in 2013.
Sorry about one question. Do they play football in Qatar?. Are there any Qatar players in any major league?
The answer is probably on the negative.
The world cup in Qatar has to do with money. Few people go to a stadium to watch a football game, except Spain, Italy ,Brazil and Argentina. And maybe UK and Germany,
In short this issue is of no importance to the world , is only a business issue for organizers, TV chains and the advertising industry.
Is not anymore the "circus" of the world , as in Roman times
It does not fulfill anymore a social mission.
And it will go down as an unnecessary item on the world scene
Germany has the highest average crowd attendance in Europe, followed by England, then Spain, then Italy, then England's second tier league comes in 5th.
The corruption allegation has been there for a very long time but Blatter remains. Does the corruption explain why he's been there so long? Who knows. One thing is sure, it's time for an overhaul of the entire FIFA rules, with Blatter and many of those that have been there for too long shown the way out,. I guess that's what the authors of this article wanted to hear anyway
Qatar sucks, no world cup for qatar
Australia also bid for the 2022 world cup using the record of hosting one of the most successful modern Olympics in Sydney. Don't mind losing to a better proposal but we were shocked to be comprehensively beaten by Qatar. Aust got only 1 vote.
maybe instead of shutting the gate after the qatar and russian horses that have bolted we should be focusing on the corrupt mess that is FIFA! Blatter and platini and co need to be replaced by a new governing body less concerned with making money and more concerned about the health and needs of the beautiful game
Qatar spends a lot of money these days. FIFA bribes, weapons for Al Qaeda in Syria, that's serious expenses.
As a former professional player, and a current USSF referee, who is too old to referee at WC competitions, and who has done field coordination at FIFA world cups, I can say that there is no way that Qatar should have been awarded the WC unless they were to provide indoor, fully air conditioned stadiums for every game, which I would still be against as Football is an outdoor sport.
We are going to see players absolutely dead on their feet by the end of the tournament, when they should be at their physical best. We are going to see fans passing out from the heat and possibly even deaths from it, both in the stands and on the field.
As a former USSF delegate, since retired from that, I am outraged at the corrupt manner of the selection of Qatar as the host country. The selection process was as corrupt as Mr. Blatter's reelection. FIFA is, in my opinion the most corrupt and disgusting world sports organization in existence. If FIFA members had any guts and integrity they would kick Blatter and his cronies out of FIFA or start a rival world body.
As to changing the dates of the WC to November or January, if I were the European leagues and teams, I'd tell FIFA where they could shove the "Cup." I'd refuse to release the players, and if forced to allow them to participate, I'd sue FIFA for several billion Euros, the sum lost, and costing the leagues to turn their schedule upside down, and I'd sue FIFA for even more, for each and every player which got injured who lost time from playing in their their well established leagues' seasons. When the WC is held on its standard dates, everyone knows that well in advance and plans for it.
As a human being, the idea that Qatar is to host the WC, one of the premier sports championships in the world is a disgrace. It is well documented that Qatar takes expatriate workers from nations throughout Asia and parts of Africa and routinely subjects them to forced labor and, including prostitution. The country is literally in the sex slave trade business. Their record on freedom of religion is equally dismal.
So much rubbish about Qatar in your mail and so much hate in most of the other comments here. Why is that? Have you even visited the place that you speak so knowledgeably about it? I've just moved out of Qatar after spending 14 wonderful years there. It is a small pace, has it's weaknesses like other places, but will certainly deliver a world class event for FIFA in 2022. Just you wait and watch.
qatar should never be allowed to organize the fifa world cup......so many people are dyeing in the name of soccer.....go to hell fifa.....
I curse this people be treated in hell as the same way they have treated the poor people.....
It is obvious QATAR got the world cup through bribery of voting officials (ether directly or indirectly paid), as there is no other reason to have passed on bids from other locations (USA?). The problem is that FIFA is a corrupt organization run by people who are primarily interested in lining their own pockets. Unless they are kicked out (better yet arrested), nothing will change.
Russia Oil/Gas money = world cup
Qatar Oil money = world cup
This is how it works with FIFA ... countries with ethical guidelines/laws have no chance anymore
FIFA is the worst. Israel has to play Russia and Portugal and doesn't make the tournament because FIFA lets Israel's neighbors (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon et.al.) get away with not playing them. Mostly because they know they'd get their asses kicked and couldn't stand the "humiliation".
I'm not sure who the "they" refers to, but Israel doesn't play Egypt, Lebanon, et. al. because Israel is in UEFA but its own choosing. And I sincerely hope you're not implying that Israel would kick Egypt's ass in football.
No World Cup in Qatar. Thousands of workers live and work in inhuman, slave like conditions. Hundreds of workers are dying building the stadiums and other buildings. Many are cheated out of their wages and many are not even paid. Hundreds of workers return to their native countries in "coffins" and in debts. It's a shame that this rich country treats people this way. No way! No World Cup in Qatar! They can have a gathering of slave owners and slave drivers. Maybe the Devil will be their chief guest.
In addition, Qatar is not a good place to sponsor any sporting event that does not take place inside an air-conditioned building. The Qatari may not consider their country to be 'hot', because they live there.
I grew up in Saudi Arabia. The oil company that my father worked for took very good care of us. But it took me a long time to get to the point that I could engage in a full schedule of normal events outside when temperature was around 130 degrees F. Qatar is even worse than where I grew up because it has quite a bit of humidity as well as the heat. The humidity where I grew up always stayed pretty close to 0, except during the once a year rain we received, without fail.
It would be bad enough for the athletes, who are highly trained to do what they do under adverse circumstances, but consider the fans. What would the World Cup be like with the bleachers empty?
BTW, and this does not, and is not intended to make any point. One of the ways that the oil company took care of us was by having a good relationship with the local prince. I met him once when I was 4-5 years old. Sat on his lap, pulled his beard. I became curious about him, and he turned out to have an interesting story. He was born a palace slave. I'm not sure how old he was when he saved the King's life by jumping between the king and an armed assassin.
So one day he was a palace slave, and the next day he was a prince, with a bullet hole in him, who did not look the least bit like an Arab.
We can judge people from the middle east as much as we want, but, in the end they don't think the same way we do. Their senses of morality, fairness, and many others, are not often compatible with ours.
I left out a good part about the prince. He became concerned about our safety during one of the Arab-Israeli wars. So he started thinking 'worst case' and assembled enough camels to carry us all, and enough goats to provide milk for all the children, and I don't know what else, in case our town became untenable. Rumor was that he paid for all of it out of his own pocket.
The only point I'm trying to make here is that judging an ethnic, racial or religious group as a whole is not a good idea.
Qatar being a rich country practices slavery which is not good.At the time when we are running campaigns to end slavery such kind of incident disturbs us.it .workers from Nepal,India,Bangldesh,etc are made to work like slaves in the gulf countries its the thing the whole world knows but its more disturbing when workers are made to work like slaves in the fifia venues.The best way to punish those who practices slavery in this case is to get the world cup out of Qatar.
qatar is a third world country with a lot of money and no morals or value for human life. slavery and human rights abuses are visible throughout the city. the majority of oil arabs have terminal cancer of the soul. the way they use and abuse other humans is inexcusable. richest country in the world, exploiting the poorest countries for a work force, not providing a minimum wage or worker's rights. shameful. no world cup.
The whole selecton process was a joke. Australia, an emerging and enthusiastic football market who have hosted 2 excellent Olympics as well as numerous Commonwealth games and rugby and cricket world cups, got one vote. Clearly Qatar simply threw wads of oil money at FIFA in lieu of any pretence of being able to hold a satisfactory tournament. Well, FIFA's greed made their bed, now they have to lie in it.
I think Qatar should power the process and build couple of stadiums and accommodation facilities in Nepal and Bangladesh, and do a world of good to these hardworking people by letting them host the prestigious event.
I think it is a fair request from Australia to ask for there failed bidding money back. It is ridicules to give Qatar the World Cup, Australia has a great sporting culture, and it would be better in Australia
Qatar is land of slavery. They want to build soccer grounds out of blood of poor contract workers who are treated as trash. if wold is so much serious about human rights, in Qatar there is no human rights for contract workers from Developing nations. Most of the companies dont pay even their little salary on time, Once you are in Qatar as an employee, you cant leave the country until your sponsor release you. Is it not slavery ? where are these human right pundits go after poor counties ?
Why fifa hate Ukrainians so much ?!!
i am working here DOha its so hellish as well as our employer... the modern slavery is really here in doha.. atleast i ma very lucky that i have my passport n my hand as other co. they hold their employees passport and they never pay over time.. etc..some working hours is more than 8 hours ..the Labor dept . here never listen to the people. the laws here only for the qatari. the norms and customs here is very different. people here most especially arab don't respect expatriates most especially the most inferior worker here.. people can't go to malls a most especially f during family day and that family day is the day were most of the workers here have their Off.. laborers cannot go inside the malls. the are only allowed to a park which is too hot ..no trees nor any thing to hide.. .
I think such an important event should not be hosted in contries with problems like drugs, segragated healthcare, legal prostitution and human trafficking to name a few.
Qatar is not a strong footballing nation, but they are very good at paying bribes, paying mercenaries to destabilize other countries. FIFA has no credibility, its already a bribe tainted world cup award to Qatar.
Ok Sepp & FIFA Lets level here with us the fans, clubs, kids, consumers of FIFA approved and regulated equipment, Pay TV customers, ticket buyers, airline, hotel, travel customers i.e. (Das Fans)......... Your a registered as a Swiss non-profit, non-transparent, non-reporting and protected under the Swiss banking privacy laws (secrecy) Yet your a public governing body with public & sponsors money and you select & choose locations for events. (all at a profit by rules and fees and pay for selection process) that are all kept in secret. Your the keeper of the games rules & reg's yet can rule and delegate based on fees be they members, sponsors including product merchandizing and you own the media & image rights of players, games + events..... So Please tell us exactly what your doing for us the fans, clubs, professional, amateur , youth and promotion of the game? This is a logical, rational, legitimate question we all want know. The simple fact is; if any of us did business deals like FIFA/Sepp we would be investigated, have our accounts seized, go to jail under the foreign corruption rules. We have accepted you are immune and above the law. You have over CHF3 billion in cash on account. Where is the quality of game and the quality of transparency and leadership from this secret protected wealthy organization? .... All we can see is a massive loss in credibility, lack of leadership and carefully crafted secret club with rich partners and inside deal makers that we pay into and reschedule out lives are around hoping to get a decent ticket or event broadcast schedule we can adapt to so we can enjoy the sport............ Its clear, FIFA HQ Zurich, has created a game of insiders... who lost the spirit of the sport we the fans & players love so much and we keeping paying for.....
Never an audit to be showed, never a fair & true story to be told, only tickets to be sold by an organization that leaves us in the cold.......... (Time a new organization in a new place, new leaders and transparency to promote the game)
I found the reports on Qatar not founded, I leave in Europe with an degree earn around 600 euro my rent for the apt. where I leave is 400 Euro am left with around 150 euro for food and clothing I hardly make it to the end of an month, am bend to one employee because is marked on my residence permit where is the difference btw. Europe and Qatar, for me the reports I see are not founded, are they racially motivated or with background, funny.
Slavery in the Gulf nations are so widespread, but no one cares. If you believe that Pyramids in Egypt were built by slaves then we would believe that the high sky buildings in the Gulf nations are built by the hands of the slaves
I totally agree with you .
Its time to get this Camel and the Tent (Qatar) off the football pitch and get on with football as we know it
Integrity??? Please this "Deal" was done as soon as the bribes were paid. How can you have a bid on a contract with one set of criteria and after it is awarded (under some very dubious circumstances) change the criteria for the awardee. In ANY court of law in any country (except FIFA"s world) this is illegal. We are all convinced of Blatter's corruption, but Plaitini you should be ashamed. 65 Nepalese worker s died during June, July and August. Tha't 20+ a month. I would love to see England, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, France, and Holland, all state that they will NOT participate in the tournament if a revote (with strict and equal conditions for all bidders), is not done..
If these countries with Brazil. Argentina and a few others, did threaten to boycott th 2022 cup. Because of human rights violation in Qatar, they would do more for Football, than the awarding of the Cup to Qatar will ever do. At this point a re-vote is in order. Sorry Blatter you have to return the bribes.
Arab slavery in modern times.
There is no peaceful places like Qatarrrr
There is no many peaceful places like Qatar in the Asian continents
Cash cash and cash $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Cash cash and cash
Oxymoron: "Fifa Ethics...Committee"
I see things my way and not for others... life is all about looking on how to survive. Yourself first.. Qatar has its strict policies which many thinks its harsh, for which i look at them as good. If they were not there, a lot would have happened and worse circumstances more than the dead of workers would have pop-up .
Qatar like any other nation in the world must have setbacks, nations in Europe , Asia and Africa do have their own plays which when looked upon, you feel like never want to talk about them. the America also have their own circumstances which sometimes I look at it as the world coming to an end.
So therefore, i say to myself, Millions of migrants have migrated to work in Qatar and i know they can make up a population of a large state. They can be consider a region where you must have dead registered provided people are undergoing strain activities. Can someone check on average the population that make or can make a good life afterward???? rather than looking at the average number of life loss for which death is inevitable. Most people who travel to Qatar know there is much intense heat in the area.
There are also embassies of many of theses nations whom they national are lost. Why can't they stop their nationals from going to work in Qatar??? Simply because they know those people can get a better SOL in the future.
All in all, with the numerous dead recorded last summer, advises should be given on how Qatar to ameliorate on her works status and workers treatment, rather than trying to focus on the fact of 2022 world cup issue which when pass-by, workers can be expose to the so called "slavery". Qatar got a lot to offer, ask me, i will say Qatar deserves the 2022 world cup final.
They are capable of hosting each an every fifa tournament. I mean the Qatar. So why the heck now for this chatter.
Moreover they have already given thd authority. And they are getting ready for now more the half a decade.
All what fifa need is some high class grounds and a vast tourist spectrum. Qatar has done with it.
The answer is easy for Qatar....All stadiums must be fully air conditioned and covered and NO fans travel to Qatar....unless they suspend their idiotic Muslim laws. Fat chance I guess...so they don't need the WC !!
Play the games in empty stadiums.....thanks Blatter. Time for you to GO !
Instead of shifting to winter, and complicating schedules, etc. can't they just play at night?
It would be much cooler and the heat related issues would be minimized to a significant extent.
Shame to Qatar...
See here why & how Qatar making money...
Aside from FIFA's credibility, the continental bias is very significant and should be given some due considerations. If Qatar passes the test of bias, then the world goes to Qatar to play and judge first hand.
Swe: Ge FIFAs "Sepp Blatter"ett röt kort för gott!
Han är nog den person som är den har störst korrupta av alla medlemar inom FIFA.
Eng: Give FIFA "Sepp Blatter" a red card for good!
He is probably the person who is the most in corrupt of all members of FIFA.
My aunts neighbor in the Philippines has a burnt scar when she was imprisoned by her Qatari employee. She refused to convert to islam so her employee locked her in her room for months and pour a hot boilng water on her back.
Collaborator and co-creator of CNN sport concepts such as The CNNFC, The Circuit and Aiming for Gold I have a passion for all things world football, F1 and athletic excellence.
Veteran of the 2010 World Cup, the 2012 London Games and a lifelong Grand Prix devotee my interest lies in sport’s power to intrigue and excite, the deeper stories statistics can tell and the opportunity social media platforms offer for engagement of a global sport community.
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