FIFA president Sepp Blatter has come under pressure after Qatar declared they will not host the 2022 World Cup in winter, insisting it was “never our interest to change one week beyond June and July”.
Since Qatar was awarded the World Cup, Blatter has suggested the finals be switched from their traditonal summer slot – when temperatures in Qatar can rise to 50C – to January, a move which has already caused consternation within footballing circles.
However, AFC chief Mohamed bin Hammam, who led the successful Qatar bid, has hit back by saying he firmly expected the World Cup to take place in the summer.
“We submitted a bid suggesting we are going to be ready in June and July. And we said we are going to face all the challenges and we are going to meet all the requirements. Our focus is June, July. It is never our interest to change one week beyond June and July,” bin Hamman told Sky News.
Furthermore, in response to UEFA president Michel Platini’s proposal that Qatar may be asked to “share” the World Cup so that it is played across the whole of the Gulf region, bin Hammam responded: “Qatar can stand alone and organise the competition by itself.”
Blatter continued to draw further criticism with an admission during an interview with CNN on Thursday, when he admitted that FIFA committee members “vote more with their heart than they vote with their head.”