FIFA could have saved themselves a world of pain had they taken two minutes to search online.
Type the following words, average - monthly - temperature - Qatar, into Google and you’ll discover that the average temperature for the months of June and July in Doha are in excess 40°C and reach as high as 50°C.
You don’t have to be Doogie Howser M.D. to realise that playing football in that kind of heat could seriously damage a person’s health or worse, kill them.
So here’s a question, why didn’t FIFA take this issue into consideration when awarding Qatar the honour of hosting of the World Cup finals in 2022?
It’s been almost two years since FIFA President, Sepp Blatter and his cronies, announced that Qatar had won the race to host the event. However, within the last few weeks Blatter floated the idea of shifting the competition from June/July to the winter when the temperature is cooler. This week, the 54 members of UEFA agreed in principle that the competition should be moved from the summer to the winter.
Blatter’s suggestion is a no brainer and it just adds fuel to the fire that the finals should never have gone to Qatar in the first place.
If the sweltering heat wasn’t enough to convince you then read on.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and the selling of alcohol is heavily regulated. These issues don’t change just because it’s a little cooler.
FIFA claims to be a universal organisation that prides itself on being inclusive but standing side by side with a nation that discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality flies in the face of all that.
Qatar hosted the 2011 Asian Cup, which was regarded by many as a warm up for the 2022 tournament. It was the first time the country had hosted a major football competition and despite the watching eyes of FIFA, the showpiece was a disappointment.
It boasted the lowest attendance figures in 11 years since the tournament was held in Lebanon and some of attendances at games amounted to just several thousand. Alarm bells ringing anyone?
It’s easy to ridicule a country like Qatar with virtually no football history but the reasons most people are passionately against the 2022 World Cup finals taking place there are all practical, logical and ethical.
I couldn’t imagine anything more uncomfortably warm than a place with temperatures reaching 50°C; I know us Irish weren’t made to dwell in the sun but that kind of heat was made for amphibians, not the human race.
It was reported that one of the reasons the Qatar bid was successful was because the organising committee convinced FIFA that holding the finals there in 2022 would be a great chance to bridge the gap between the Arab world and the West. What utter nonsense!
Whether the finals take place in the summer or the winter the usual suspects will still have a monopoly over food and drink sales. If football fans travelling to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup finals believe they are going there for a genuine Arabian experience then they will be disappointed.
Blatter and his clone-like cronies meet in Zurich next month to discuss the possibility of moving the competition to the winter of 2022. Should this happen it will cause mammoth problems for the world football calendar. There’s still nine years to go - they’d be better off cutting their losses, starting from scratch and checking the Internet the next time around.