UEFA (the governing body of European football) has given its tentative approval to moving the 2022 World Cup to the winter.
The prospect of a winter World Cup in 2022 took a step forward after European football chiefs agreed a summer event could not be played in Qatar.
Summer temperatures in the Gulf state can reach 50C, sparking health fears for players and fans alike.
Uefa’s 54 member associations backed the switch at a meeting in Croatia.
Yeah, I can see that.
“The World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer,” said Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce. “Everyone was certainly in agreement about that.”
Right. Everyone was in agreement. And I do feel sorry for FIFA. When they awarded the Cup to Qatar back in 2010, there was no real way to foresee that there could be problems. For instance, since meteorology hadn’t been invented yet, there was no way for the committee to understand that daily high temperatures in Qatar average 106F during the summer months. Average.
Otherwise, the deal made perfect sense. With a population of 1.69 million, the emirate would rank as the 38th largest metropolitan statistical area in the US, right alongside Providence. Sure, there was the fact that when they hosted the Asian Cup they managed the lowest attendance since Lebanon around the turn of the century, but you know, things change.
And as for the weather, that wasn’t going to be a big deal. Nor was the fact that they don’t actually have, you know, stadiums. The plan was that they were going to build several new ones and spread them out around the nation’s major metropolitan markets. Also, they were going to air condition them. No, not domes. They were going to AC outdoor stadiums. In the fucking desert. In fucking July.
That huge-ass seething spot you can see with the unaided human eye from fucking Mars?! Yeah, that’s the blackest carbon footprint in the history of the universe.
(Notice how so far I haven’t said anything about the potential cultural issues surrounding a rampaging month-long drunken orgy descending upon an Islamic village? I’m proud of how I didn’t go there.)
So, you’re probably asking yourself – self, how the hell did Qatar get awarded the World Cup in the first place? Good question. Sepp Blatter, the head of FIFA, said “The Arabic world deserves a World Cup.” He did not say “those of us making this decision deserve this suitcase full of unmarked bills.” But I’m pretty sure he thought it. He thinks all kinds of interesting stuff.
I will admit to not being 100% objective where Bladder is concerned. When he proposed hiring Henry Kissinger to “clean up” FIFA a couple years ago I wrote this:
What kind of narco-voodoo horse tranquilizer is Sepp Blatter injecting directly into his anal glands, anyhow? Enquiring Rational minds want to know. I mean, maybe he wants Kissinger to bomb the FA? But if he does, can he be trusted not to ramp up covert bombing of the Scottish FA and the FFF?
Seriously, what could Sepp be thinking? I can’t find any concrete evidence that he’s a deranged neo-fascist (although the fact that he’s Swiss and born in the mid-’30s raises obvious questions). He’s never been institutionalized that I can tell, although he’s bound to be prone to neo-liberal sex dreams. I did find this bit, which is curious:
In the early 1970s, Blatter was elected president of the World Society of Friends of Suspenders, an organisation which tried to stop women replacing suspender belts with pantyhose.
No telling what a TSA search would shake out of that underwear drawer, yo?
Anyhoo, the collective geniusosity that is the world football braintrust has finally admitted that it would be bad to stage the biggest competition in global sport in an environment where the players’ cleats might melt. Better late than never, huh?
Now all that remains to be figured out is how to do this without completely disrupting the regular seasons of the world’s top leagues. And the Champions League. And the holiday season. And by the way, will we be doing this in January 2022 or December 2022?