Football world in a tizz over 2022 Qatar World Cup bombshell

Jerome Valcke, the Fifa secretary general, has given the clearest signal yet that the World Cup in Qatar will be moved to November 2022, during a day of farcical mixed messages from world football's governing body.

Valcke, who is supposed to be consulting all role-players over whether the tournament should move from June when temperatures can hit 50°C, this week told a French radio station the tournament is likely to be held between November 15 2022 and January 15 2023.

Confirming publicly what many in football have privately suspected for some time, he said the tournament "will not be in June or July".

"Frankly, I think it'll be played between November 15 and January 15 at the latest," he said. "If you play between November 15 and the end of the year, that's when the weather is at its most favourable." It would be "like a warm spring in Europe" with "an average temperature of 25°C; therefore it's perfect for football".

Fifa, whose president, Sepp Blatter, was forced to row back from an earlier declaration that the tournament would be moved after fierce protests from United States broadcasters and European leagues, insisted Valcke was speaking in a personal capacity.


"As the event will not be played until eight years' time, the consultation process will not be rushed and will be given the necessary time to consider all of the elements," it said in a statement. "Consequently, no decision will be taken before the upcoming 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil."

Mind made up
After launching a consultation process in October, Blatter said before the World Cup draw in Brazil that no decision would be taken officially until December this year. 

But Valcke appears to have made up his mind, despite later hinting there may be no official confirmation until 2015.

The Premier League and other European leagues are concerned about the ramifications for their media deals, player contracts and schedules, and US broadcasters are unhappy about a potential clash with the National Football League season.

The International Olympic Committee has already made it clear the tournament should not clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics, despite the Union of European Football Association's president, Michel Platini, favouring January because it does not clash with the Champions League group stages. 

Britain's Fifa vice-president, Jim Boyce, said he was "totally surprised" by Valcke's comments, saying there is an "expectation" that the World Cup will not be played in the northern hemisphere summer, but that no final decision has been made. – 

© Guardian News & Media 2014"

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Owen Gibson
Guest Author

Related stories

World Cup review, Part III: The moguls who battled doubt

We talk to the organisers whose every waking moment was consumed by the duty of hosting a successful tournament

PSL falls in line and suspends football

It’s officially official, we will have no football in the country until further notice

‘Be bold, take risks’ to fix economy

Everyone has different solutions, but they all agree that time is running out — and Eskom is the priority

Football on the colonial frontier

Still fighting for their right to return home, exiled Chagossians are using football to unite a diaspora

Fun and games that change lives

Professional gaming can mean earning big bucks for elite competitors. It also fosters problem-solving skills in casual players

Beware the group of death

From the powerful Germans to the sanguine Spanish, here’s everything you need to know about South Africa’s World Cup opponents
Advertising

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

The PPE scandal that the Treasury hasn’t touched

Many government officials have been talking tough about dealing with rampant corruption in PPE procurement but the majority won't even release names of who has benefited from the R10-billion spend

ANC still at odds over how to tackle leaders facing...

The ANC’s top six has been mandated to work closely with its integrity committee to tackle claims of corruption against senior party members
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday