Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said the decision by the world football governing body to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may have being a “mistake.”
There is an ongoing debate on the suitability of the Middle Eastern country, where summer temperatures can reach 50ºc, to accommodate spectators and footballers during the period of the soccer showpiece.
Asked by insideworldfootball.com about accepting Qatar’s bid for the tournament, the 77-year-old said: “It may well be that we made a mistake a the time.”
“On the other hand you must also consider political and geo-political realities.
“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, who in May said it was “not rational” to play the World Cup in Qatar in June and July, hopes Fifa’s executive committee will follow his proposal to switch the tournament to the winter when it meets next month.
Should that be the case, the Swiss hope to harmonise the world football calendar for the winter period with a closer look at the European football league, which normally is in full swing a that time.
“The next steps will include a close look at the international calendar and to establish what consequences the change would have,” Blatter added.
“And we would naturally need to speak to and consult with all interested parties and stakeholders.”
The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) might as well be affected by the impending change to the 2022 World Cup calendar with the football season slated for the end of the year in most cases.
Qatar defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to win a ballot of Fifa’s 22 executive members in 2010 to host the tournament.