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Friday Kickoff: 2022 World Cup to remain in Qatar; Tottenham, Sevilla continue strong UEL starts; and more

SeppBlatterFIFAExecutiveCommitteeMeeting1 (FIFA)

By DAN KARELL

As far as FIFA are concerned, the 2022 World Cup is staying in Qatar.

With news reports of abuse towards migrant workers in the Middle Eastern country and FIFA President Sepp Blatter admitting himself recently that the World Cup couldn’t take place in the summer in Qatar, it had been thought that there was a possibility for a re-vote.

However, following a two-day summit in Zurich, Switzerland, FIFA’s Executive Committee has decided to appoint a task force to look in-depth into moving the World Cup to winter and keeping it in Qatar.

“We will talk to the leagues, players and clubs but there are other stakeholders and these are economic stakeholders and we should take into account the obligations we have to them,” Blatter said in a press conference. “There has to be a deep consultation and a large one with great attention and diplomacy.”

Blatter also confirmed that the task force won’t return until after the 2014 World Cup next year in Brazil, but that a decision on the scheduling for the 2022 World Cup would have to come by 2015.

Here are some more stories to start your Friday:

TOTTENHAM, SEVILLA CONTINUE HOT EUROPA LEAGUE STARTS

On matchday two of the Europa League group stages, both Tottenham and Sevilla continued their solid starts to their respective European campaigns.

Jermain Defoe was off the mark again for the third straight Europa League match, scoring in the 34th minute before Nacer Chadli added Tottenham’s second goal five minutes later. That was all the scoring that Spurs needed as they easily took three points back to London after defeating Anzhi Makhachkala, 2-0.

In Spain, Sevilla had to wait a bit longer to score but also finished their match with the same scoreline as above, defeating German club Freiburg, 2-0, at Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan.

Diego Perotti opened the scoring for the Spanish club with a 63rd minute penalty kick before Carlos Bacca put the game away in 90th minute stoppage with with a calm right-footed finish.

HODGSON BACKS HART TO BE ENGLAND NO. 1 

Despite some poor form recently, including allowing a somewhat goal to Franck Ribery in Manchester City’s 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, England manager Roy Hodgson is backing Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart to remain as England’s No. 1 goalkeeper.

Hart was included in the 23-man squad as England look to ensure a place in the 2014 World Cup with wins against Poland and Montenegro in their final two matches, both at home at Wembley Stadium.

“As far as I’m concerned, Joe Hart is my number one,” Hodgson told BBC Sport at a news conference. “He has never let me down.

“I am not blind to the situation, I do realise it is not a good moment for Joe. He is a proud man and a very good goalkeeper and I am sure when he is criticised he is unhappy. I still believe in Joe. I believe he is the right man for the job and I don’t believe he will let England down.”

The 35-times capped goalkeeper has been very successful during his career in the Three Lions shirt, winning 21 times and drawing a further 12 more, losing just twice in his England appearances.

QUICK KICKS

Arsenal will be without their starting right back Bakary Sagna for the next three weeks due to a hamstring injury. (REPORT)

Recent Spain Under-21 graduate Alberto Moreno could make his senior debut for La Roja after being included in their 23-man squad for World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia. (REPORT)

Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta stated that new contracts for midfielders Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba are close to being finalized. (REPORT)

Maccabi Tel Aviv have become only the second ever Israeli club soccer team to win a match in France in a European competition. (REPORT)

——–

What do you think of these reports? Surprised by FIFA’s stance on Qatar? Do you see the World Cup moving to winter? Impressed by Tottenham’s start in the Europa League? Do you believe Hart should still be England’s starting goalkeeper?

Share your thoughts below.

60 comments
  • Alex

    Wow. So FIFA thinks it’s okay to work people to death in inhumane heat until they die of exhaustion in order to build these stadiums? It’s insane that they haven’t taken the tournament away from Qatar yet. Completely unbelievable.

    Like

      • Dave

        Please tell me this was sarcasm.

        Department of Redundancy department

        Like

      • Drewbles

        He was paraphrasing the OP, who was not being sarcastic I’m afraid.

        Like

    • Juest

      It’s insane that the WC was given to Qatar in the first place. If FIFA cared about human rights, they wouldn’t have accepted Qatar’s bid. FIFA does care about its reputation, so now that there’s a backlash, they’ll give it a year. If the pressure subsides, then they’ll go ahead with Qatar. If pressure builds, they’ll find an excuse to strip them of it and re-bid the tournament.

      Like

    • Sly

      The idea that this would make a difference to Blatter and Co. is the highest folly. Qataris werent going to build it themselves and the south asians who go to Middle Eastern Oil powers to work have been mistreated forever. Passports siezed told they have to work off “debts” they encountered, housekeepers under virtual house arrest. Its an open secret.

      The only way this world cup isnt hosted by Qatar is if ESPN/Sky/BBC and adverstisers say this blood isnt worth it. We will not show broadcast and we will spend a billion in legal fees to get out of this contract and get the money we paid for this back.

      They wont and no amount of social media pressure will do. So the #BloodyCup #DeathCup #SeppMurderBall will go on as planned.

      Like

  • Forrest Ellis

    To be fair, FIFA reported to CNN that they haven’t made a decision yet on Qatar hosting it or not. That popped up on CNN an hour ago. They said they won’t make a decision at this time, or any time before this World Cup takes place. So no decision yet as to if it will be moved to another place or not.

    Like

    • QuakerOtis

      True, but, in FIFA terms, this translates to:

      “Wow, Qataris, my pockets are suddennly lighter. If only…”

      Like

  • scweeb

    Don’t cross the line! Dont cross the line! Soccer is about fare play, no racisim, everyone is equal. Unless you are building soccer stadiums then its cool to treat you like a slave and work you tell you die!!! Don’t cross the line.

    Like

  • Coke

    The World Cup is staying in Qatar. End of story.
    Name a country and I bet I can find the same kind of situation as in Qatar or even worse.

    Like

    • Alex

      With 4,000 people projected to die from being worked to death? Ancient Egypt is the only country with the same kind of situation, when they were building the pyramids.

      Like

      • TomM

        How quickly we all forget- it’s been said that 500 died per mile of the Panama Canal built- about 25,000 deaths in all. The most human lives were lost during the American construction period.

        List- I’d love to have the cup back in the States- we can fill it, make lots of money, blah, blah, blah…. But truthfully, all countries need a chance to join the modern age and celebrate the world’s biggest sport. This will be a great opportunity for the world to focus on Qatar and the Middle East improving its human rights record.

        Like

      • Coke

        Exactly. Put the spotlight on them and force them to join the 21st century.
        Now if only they could move it to the US so FIFA would force us to do something about gun violence/abortions/drugs/migrant field workers abuses and a couple of other issues that would be great

        Like

      • Judging Amy

        You guys are clueless. Or insane. I don’t mean this in an insulting sense either. I’m just honestly astounded anyone could think what you just said makes a lick of sense.

        Like

      • Coke

        Well, when you put it like that it makes a lot of sense and made me reconsider my opinion

        Like

      • Increase

        Keep non-soccer related politics out of this.

        All of the issues you just named are far more complicated that making sure people have water and get paid.

        So please don’t bring those up. Also Amy don’t be petty. Name calling is juvenile.(although…. sometimes effective.)

        Like

      • Coke

        So, since they’re more complicated we ignore them in our own country?
        I thought we were morally superior

        Like

      • Judging Amy

        Agreed. This is getting too close to the political side of things and I shouldn’t name call.

        Like

      • Chris

        “Exactly. Put the spotlight on them and force them to join the 21st century.”

        But they won’t. That’s why there is all the outrage. Letting them host the WC will change nothing, socially or politically, in Qatar. It will simply help to line the already crazy rich ruling class’ pockets with even more money.

        Like

      • Lost in Space

        Am I reading your post wrong….
        You want FIFA (corruption Personified) to correct things you personally believe are issues within the USA? Issues of our own creation (Drugs & Worker Abuse) and for which we have Government agentcies to address; (abortion) for which the Highest Law in our land has stated is an individual choice, but which you think you know best for everyone; or gun violence which has more to do with the increased level of stupidity in the US than anything else.
        Do the world a favor and don’t reproduce.

        Like

  • ManicMessiah

    There are 9 years until the world cup, and there will probably be stories about moving or not moving it for the next 7 years.

    Brazil and Russia will be thrilled, because the attention paid on the deficiencies of both of their world cup runups will be largely ignored, I would think.

    Like

  • ManicMessiah

    Good for Juventus, but I can’t help seeing both of them as a midfielder Man United should have kept, and a midfielder they should have bought instead of Fellaini.

    Like

  • SoccerKing

    Australia would be such a better host (2022) so why doesn’t FIFA agree? Oh yeah the money in the committee’s pockets were already spent.

    Like

    • Alex

      And because they have no morals and are perfectly fine with killing people in order to get those stadiums built in the Qatari heat.

      Like

      • Rory

        It’s going to come down to the clubs in Europe about whether this cup is held in the winter. If they fight it hard enough they will have to move the tournament. The further out they move it the more likely it goes to Australia, if it’s closer to the end they will have to go with the US. But the thing is, does anyone remember the ratings disaster form the 2000 Olympics in Australia? That time zone difference killed ratings so I can’t imagine the sponsors are going to go for that move.

        Like

      • Neal

        I have no numbers to back any of this up, but did the time difference kill ratings during WC 2002?
        Almost the same time difference.

        Like

      • SoCal Soccer Mom

        Living on the west coast, for the 2002 WC games were at 11:30pm. 2:00am and 4:30am (more or less). Really hated staying up late or getting up in the middle of the night. The early game was OK as only had to get up hour early. Yes, you could record the game, but then had to try and avoid the score (which, to my surprise, was on the sports news).

        Like

      • Barb

        How are the US TV rights holders going to respond to a winter world cup? Sure, the summer has baseball but that is one sport. A winter world cup would have to compete with NFL, CFB (possibly bowl games) NBA, College hoops and NHL, Sponsors may be wary of paying a lot for ads.

        Plus lets look at the public relations nightmares related to it so far: Homophobic statements from Blatter, migrant workers being held in the country against their will, workers not being paid, and safety issues resulting in death, Things are going to have to improve a great deal and pretty fast for these issues to be “forgotten” by 2022.

        I would like to see the leagues use this as an opportunity for a power grab and revamp of FIFA. They should refuse to release their players for a winter world cup. This would have a greater impact that individual countries boycotting as most countries would have to compete with B or even youth squads if their star players were not released.

        Like

  • beto

    qatar wc is a shame and if the next 9 years are as bad as everyone is saying it will be it might be worth boycotting.. we will see.

    moving on.. i’l be interested to see how fifa re-schedules the fifa schedule.. what if they just put all the international dates into two 5-7 week windows; one in the summer and one in the winter. clubs and international teams would have the same amount of time just less travel between the two.. then you could have summer and/or winter tournaments all the time..

    Like

  • mwc

    I’m confused. Did Blatter say, “There has to be a deep consultation . . . ” or “There has to be deep pockets . . .”?

    Like

  • AcidBurn

    Notice that each FIFA ExecCo member gets an entire tower of cookies…I mean a plate of cookies aren’t enough, this is the ExecCo we’re talking about…

    Like

  • SoCal Soccer Mom

    On moving the 2022 WC – it might not hurt to remind FIFA which WC made the most money, had the highest attendance (US in 1994) and which country buys a large share of WC tickets

    Like

  • BuckoFive

    Blatter said: “there are other stakeholders and these are economic stakeholders” = the human trafficking/slaving industry

    Like

  • Coke

    Turns out an American company is the main contractor for the stadia.
    Whare is the outrage now?

    Like

    • Increase

      Still horrible people?

      It’s the governments job to protect them even then.
      “Oh its evil corporations” doesn’t make the creators of the system any responsible.

      Like

      • Coke

        Making money of slave labor is wring any way you slice it.
        Even for American companies.

        Like

      • Alex

        That’s why it should be moved to a country that will enforce labor laws to protect 4,000 people from dying.

        Like

      • bryan

        that is true. but it would be nice if an American company would adhere to the values that the United States of America stands for..no matter if the corrupt government of the country the work is being done in says you can enslave people.

        Like

      • Alex

        I agree. They should be boycotted. Why are you trying to make this an America vs. Qatar issue. It’s about the lives of the 3,950 workers who are still alive at this point.

        Like

      • bryan

        What exactly did I say that makes you think this is a USA v. Qatar thing????? come on dude. they can share the blame for their embarrassing and shameful labor standards. F them both.

        Like

      • Alex

        The company should be boycotted. So should the World Cup if FIFA allows it to stay more people die. 50 are dead already.

        Like

    • John

      Even if the working conditions were perfect there’s still the question of, can the players take the field there in the heat. If not then what can be done. Moving it to the winter is not a real option. The possible solution I can see is holding all the matches at midnight or later.

      Like

    • Alex

      I don’t get your angle. This isn’t US vs Qatar issue. It’s a worker’s rights issue. 4,000 people dying in stadium construction is NOT acceptable. Move it Australia or UK, I don’t care.

      Like

  • DC Josh

    *SIGH* oh FIFA… convenient that the Asian Football Federation President Sheik Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa will head the task force, and not a neutral party.

    Like

  • away goals

    Other big piece to come out of that fifa meeting: seeded pot will be brazil and the 7 highest ranked teams in the october rankings.

    The usmnt basically has no chance of cracking the top 7. Holland, portugal and england are also in danger of being unseeded which would set the table for multiple groups of death.

    Like

  • Ed Q.

    Coke said, “So, since (our issues) more complicated we ignore them in our own country? I thought we were morally superior?”

    No one is saying we’re morally superior. They’re saying stop the meaningless deaths…right now. You guys are reading all this pro American rah rah rah stuff into people’s posts when it doean’t exist.

    Like

    • Ed Q.

      And when Alex said “they have no morals”, he was referring to FIFA – and he was right.

      Like

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