Blatter Raises Prospect of Qatar Sharing Games but Nixes USA Bailout for 2014


FIFA President has raised the spectre of the Qataris hosting matches in neighbouring countries like Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain during the 2022 World Cup.

He said that the impulse for such a move must come originally from the Qataris themselves, adding that “the item was on the agenda” when he met with Qatari officials. He gave no indication of their view.

“I can say all these countries are very happy first of all the World Cup is going to the Middle East … and they are interested, I would say a little bit more than interested, to be part of this competition. It is a wish. It is easy to say but it is not so easy to realize,” he said at a media conference.

In their bid, Qatar used the proximity of neighbouring nations like Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as possible venues for hospitality without saying whether they were considering offering those nations the right to host games.

It was never explained how female fans were expected to stay in Saudi Arabia with that nation’s institutionalised intolerance of women’s rights. Amazingly, none of the FIFA voting delegates asked the question.

Blatter was insistent that the idea of splitting matches with other lands would have to come from Qatar and would not be forced on them.

“This demand has to come from the Qatar football organization by saying we would like to have such and such things and this has to go back to FIFA and the FIFA executive committee has to say open it or don’t open it. For the time being, it’s too early.”

It has never been suggested that games could be held in other countries. The emphasis in the bid was on future transport links that would make it easy for fans coming from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates or even Saudi Arabia to reside there and travel to matches. This merely serves to additionally highlight that Qatar lacks the adequate hotel capacity to accommodate the likely number of traveling fans.

Currently Qatar has about 45,000 hotel beds. Their bid promised to raise that to 95,000 by 2022. At least 450,000 fans are expected to travel and that could rise to half a million if certain smaller nations with large traveling supports like Scotland and the Republic of Ireland qualify. Australian fans would travel in record number to a nearby World Cup and there is every reason to think that China’s increased openness to the world may increase the number of their fans traveling in the next decade.

Blatter also doused cold water on faint English and American hopes that the 2014 World Cup may be taken out of Brazil due to their inadequate preparation.

Asked if there was a Plan “B” in case Brazil was unready, he said “Plan B” and “C” also was for Brazil to host the tournament.

“We trust Brazil will do it. They will do it. You cannot imagine this continent of football will not do all the efforts to be ready and be ready at the best level. I can’t imagine that.”

There seem to be many things Blatter lacks the capacity to imagine. Gay people being irate at a World Cup being handed to a country that oppresses them being only one.

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  1. When, will the have a re-vote ?
    Isn’t changing the dates of their Bid and possibly sharing games with other countries a material change, that the rest of the countries should have a right to vote on.

  2. I can’t imagine that Brazil will be unprepared to host the WC. It’s a little akin to Brazil not qualifying for the WC. If South Africa can pull it off, anyone can, especially Brazil.

  3. I still wonder why the UAE weren’t considered to host the cup, and why wouldn’t they be in the short list to host a game outside of Qatar