Ex-FIFA Boss: World Cup in Qatar Was a Bad Call

Host nation lacks accommodations for all attendees
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2022 7:20 PM CST
Ex-FIFA Boss: World Cup in Qatar Was a Bad Call
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announces that Qatar will host the 2022 Soccer World Cup in 2010 in Zurich.   (AP Photo/Keystone/Walter Bieri, File)

The former president of FIFA, world soccer's governing body, says he wanted this year's World Cup to be held in the US but has now decided it was a "mistake" to award it to Qatar. Sepp Blatter says that when FIFA's executive committee made the decision in 2010, he voted for the US but Michel Platini, then-president of UEFA, European soccer's governing body, and his team swung the 14-8 vote in favor of Qatar, the BBC reports. "It was a bad choice and I was responsible for that as president at the time," Blatter says.

Blatter told the Swiss newspaper group Tamedia that Qatar "is a country that's too small,” the AP reports. "Football and the World Cup are too big for that." Qatar offers limited accommodations, so some of the 1.2 million international visitors will have to stay elsewhere and commute for the matches. Blatter, who stepped down from FIFA in 2015 amid corruption allegations, did not refer specifically to criticism of Qatar over terrorism, labor or human rights issues. But he said that since the Qatar vote, "social considerations and human rights are taken into account" when awarding the World Cup. There also have been accusations of corruption involved with putting on the event, including a US investigation, per the BBC. Qatar has denied any wrongdoing. (More World Cup stories.)

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