Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Blatter admits Qatar blunder

10 September 2013, 07:25

Paris - Awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may well have been "a mistake", FIFA president Sepp Blatter said for the first time on Monday.

Staging the tournament in the Middle East has caused much controversy because if it is held over its traditional dates in the middle of the year, players will have to contend with searing 50 degrees Celsius heat.

Calls to move the World Cup to later in the year, during the European winter, have also been unpopular as it will cause major disruption to domestic league competitions in countries such as Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France.

Asked by insideworldfootball.com about awarding Qatar the tournament, Blatter said: "It may well be that we made a mistake at the time."

Blatter, who in May said it was "not rational" to play in Qatar in June and July, added: "On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities.

"The World Cup is FIFA's biggest, if not only, global event. Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all?

"I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world any more, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will on to others in far away places.

"We must accept that football has moved away from being a European and South American sport - it has become the world sport that billions of fans are excitedly following every week, everywhere in the world."

Blatter hopes FIFA's executive committee will endorse his proposal to switch the tournament to the winter.

If such a move is rubber-stamped, the Swiss added: "The next steps will include a close look at the international calendar and to establish what consequences the change would have.

"We would naturally need to speak to and consult with all interested parties and stakeholders."

Qatar defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to win the right to host the tournament for the first time.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...