Top Stories

Tuesday Kickoff: Blatter admits summer WC in Qatar a mistake; Lampard to win 100th cap; and more

SeppBlatterConfederationsCup1 (Getty)


FIFA President Sepp Blatter is under fire for comments made in an interview published on Monday.

Among his many statements, Blatter admitted that “it may well be that we made a mistake at the time,” to award Qatar a summer World Cup in 2022, with Blatter’s emphasis to that the Arabian Gulf country should have bid originally for a winter World Cup.

Despite this, Blatter defended the decision to award Qatar a World Cup, making veiled criticism to the big leagues in European soccer who are against a winter World Cup due to scheduling issues. The English Premier League has already been very vocal in their opposition to a winter World Cup.

Blatter, who admitted in the past that he voted for the United States to receive the 2022 World Cup, said in the interview that he plans on recommending to the FIFA Executive Committee a move to a winter World Cup when the group convenes in Switzerland on October 3/4.

Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:


Assuming all goes to plan, Frank Lampard will join a legendary list of English soccer players in making his 100th appearance for the Three Lions on Tuesday.

The Chelsea midfielder is set to become the eighth ever player to earn a century of England caps, and is set to start in midfield for England when they face Ukraine in a difficult World Cup qualifier. The 35-year-old is 13 years and 11 months removed from his debut appearance with England, in a 2-1 victory over Belgium on October 10, 1999.

With the expected 100th cap, Lampard sits 25 appearances behind former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton for the all-time most capped player in history. Two of his current teammates, Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard, both sit on 104 caps ahead of the Ukraine match.


Borussia Dortmund are nervous as of Tuesday morning after learning that star striker Robert Lewandowski suffered a knee injury on international duty.

The Polish international has pulled out of his nation’s match on Tuesday against San Marino and is returning to Dortmund, where he’ll be looked at by their medical staff. According to Borussia, the Polish team doctor has said that it is a ligament injury but it is not serious. However, the German club are going to test Lewandowski themselves to make sure and see if he’s available for their match against Hamburg on Saturday.

After a tremendous season with at Signal Iduna Park where he scored 36 times in all competitions, the 25-year-old has three goals in five matches in all competitions.


Barcelona defender Carles Puyol is set to return to training this week after missing nearly six months due to arthroscopic surgery and a number of setbacks. (REPORT)

West Ham forward Andy Carroll has suffered another heel injury in training, keeping him out of the lineup for an indefinite period. (REPORT)

The Argentine Football Association is beginning negotiations for two friendly matches in the United States (Washington D.C. and New York/New Jersey) in November, with the first match against Ecuador and the second against either Portugal, the Netherlands, or Spain. (REPORT)

The agent of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Heung-Min Son has admitted that the South Korean received interest from Manchester United this summer and nearly joined, but the player felt that staying in Germany was the best move at the time for his career. (REPORT)

After just 17 games in charge, the Sao Paulo board have sacked manager Paulo Autuori, and replaced him with former head coach Muricy Ramalho. (REPORT)


What do you think of these developments? What do you think of Blatter’s comments? Where does Lampard stand for you in England’s best XI? How big of a loss to Borrusia is Lewandowski at this point in the season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Mr Blatter,
    You told Reuter “rotation” recently. I like it. However, you keep changing the ideas perpetually. Excuse covers another excuse. I don’t think I need to remind everyone how you change your sayings all the time.
    However, if by rotation is the FIFA’s policy, then Oceania should be the location to follow. Would you give Australia and New Zealand the holding right of 2022 or 2026 World Cup? This vast area of continent, islands and seas has never held one World Cup. Out of the seven continents (North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, Antarctica, and Australia), only Antarctica and Australia have not had a world cup for once.
    Australia and New Zealand will build air-conditioned indoor stadium, training facilities and fans zones for one of the 4-teams-groups to play in Antarctica. As the Arabian said that they will build air-conditioned stadia for hot weather similarly. A 20K people stadium in Antarctica is not a big deal. The rest of the 7 groups spread in Australia and New Zealand. NZ to host 2 groups in the North and South Island. If the stadium in Antarctica cannot eventuate, then as like what it is now, change the location like Qatar change the time.
    How about it Mr Blatter?

  2. Good on Son to turn down Man U. He likely wouldn’t play much, and Man U probably wanted him largely for marketing in South Korea (like Park Chu-Young at Arsenal).

  3. Seems like FIFA works for the Six Confederations. Maybe the Six Confederations should have a vote and decide where 2022 WC finals should be held using the original finalist since FIFA cannot make the right decision. Then again most of the Confederations corrupt entities also.

    • I do think they should open the voting to a wider group of people and make it more transparent. Having to bribe 40 people who vote secretly is much easier than having to bribe 200 people who’s votes are shown publicly. At this point the only reason for not doing so would seem to be corruption.

  4. when you have both the EPL and Bundesliga vehemently against this change, good luck. plus, the EPL is going to stick it to FIFA for not selecting them for the 2018 World Cup. this whole thing is insane. shouldn’t have happened to begin with. Australia or USA deserved 2022.

  5. FIFA has begun pressuring both Qatar and Russia to clean up their anti-gay stance, but I doubt that issue will rise to the level of moving the WC finals in 2018 and 2022. Qatar’s belated admission that they cannot air-condition stadia for a summer WC is something that could result in the WC being moved (not to the winter, EPL, Serie A, Bundesliga, Champions League, etc. would make that extremely unlikely and unworkable) so moved to another location. US, Britain, lost bids for 2022 and 2018, I suspect either of those would be a front-runner. If the decision is not made until very late (say 2020 or after), the USA is probably the one with the infrastructure and fans with pockets deep enough to make it a financial success for the host country and the venues (TV rights will ensure FIFA gets its revenue no matter where it is played). I expect this issue will simmer for years before it is settled.

    • I sure hope you are right. Qatar hosting a WC is a complete joke. They “floated” ideas about man-made clouds and air conditioned stadia that would be keep the players cool in their ultra-high summer temperatures.
      Any suggestions as to how we can help change this joke of a mistake made by FIFA?

  6. I don’t remember people around the world bitching this much back in 94 when FIFA gave the WC to a country that didn’t even have a soccer league.
    GET OVER IT!!!

  7. I don’t follow FIFA that closely, but this seems like an opportunity to break FIFA if you are the bigh Euro leagues. Don’t release your players and break away from FIFA. Where will all of those players go? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • if they dont release their players, then FIFA, the governing body of all things soccer, I’m sure can take away their license as a club, thereby not allowing them to participate in competitions. The more likely scenario ( i would think), is that this goes through the courts

      • What if UEFA splits? They have the financial clout and balls to do it. What do Uefa clubs care if they can’t be sanctioned outside of UEFA?

  8. You would think Blatter and his boys would love to reopen bidding for the 2022 World Cup. It would be a second opportunity for him and his accomplices to be bribed. They had bidding for 2018 and 2022 at the same time to maximize bribe income why not give it another go.

  9. The thing that upsets me the most about the 2022 World Cup being awarded to Qatar (outside of the fact its not being hosted here in the US) is the concessions FIFA will have to make to the big European leagues in order to move the tournament to the winter which will only further weaken the international game.
    I first fell in love with soccer watching the ’86 World Cup , and even now nothing excites me more than watching big international tournaments. With the growing power of the superclubs and their premier competition, the UEFA Champions League, the international game will continue to be weakened.

    • I don’t really see how it’s been weakened. I think the club game and international game compliment each other nicely even though there is sometime some tension between them – usually when FIFA makes clown decisions like giving the World Cup to Qatar, or insisting on having an international date in August.

      • The international game will be weakened because FIFA will have to make concessions to the superclubs, the big Euro leagues and UEFA in order to make the schedule work for a winter World Cup.
        FIFA have put in themselves in a position where they don’t have a lot of leverage.

  10. I love how in Blatters statement he makes reference to euro imperialism. What a sad sad man. The only way he can possibly rally support is to rely on past grievances and hope for some kind of ‘white guilt’ from Europe’s past. For some reason ($) I don’t think that will be enough to persuade UEFA to change its schedule to make up for what is now an admitted mistake on the part of the FIFA exco.
    Step 1 is admitting your mistake, now do something to fix it. Reopen the bidding process

    • Even though he’s an old corrupt dinosaur, he is an adept politician.
      His statement serves two purposes:
      1) a conciliatory statement to the “anti-winter World Cup” people which will possibly make them budge cause he knows this doesn’t happen if they refuse to re-schedule.
      2) consolidate support amongst Africa, Asia and smaller CONCACAF nations by bringing up old wounds.

      My hope is that since this World Cup is still 9 years away, and the FIFA execs that voted for this host are already older men – that many of them will retire in the interim and younger execs will come in and realize that the short term of gain of forcing the winter World Cup in Qatar will mean long term loss for future international tournaments and reverse this poor decision.

  11. I think we can all agree that the idea of having World Cups hosted outside of Europe and South America is important to grow the sport (look what it did to boost the sport when the US hosted it), so in principle it’s hard to argue with the concept of having a World Cup in the Middle East. I really hope it happens in my lifetime.

    HOWEVER, deciding to hold a summer event IN THE DESERT was a questionable decision from the get go, so it’s not crazy to wonder if moving a Qatari WC to a winter or fall window wasn’t part of the plan all long. For leagues that have an extended winter break this won’t be a huge issue to adjust to, but I think all the European leagues, including Champions League will not want to lose that income. If that’s the case, I could see this becoming a game of chicken that I believe FIFA would lose.

    Moreover, any alternate location in the region (Egypt, Turkey) are either fairly politically unstable or have a neighbor whose civil situation is going to get worse before it gets better (i.e. Syria, Iraq, northern Lebanon, Iran).

    For all those reasons, bring it to the US or UK in 2022 and give the region more time to settle down, as well as give the European leagues more time to adjust to an amended winter schedule.

    But of course, that begins with giving Qatar all their lobbying money back…

    • Champions Leage has a longer break than leagues with winter breaks so it wouldn’t be affected much. Still, this is all stupid but par for the course for FIFA.

  12. So Qatar is a mistake I think we can all agree on that but now FIFA’s idea of correcting thier mistake is to make another one and change the timing of the WC. Seriously? When did two wrongs make a right?

  13. Qatar “won” the 2022 WC based on having it in the summer, with giant floating air conditioners somehow keeping everything cool. Let’s get this moved to the US ASAP.

    • +1

      To me, Qatar deceived the selection committee with all these promises of futuristic concepts that they wont be able to deliver. That alone should be enough to reopen the vote.

      Beyond the gay rights issue, Qatar also has a multitude of human rights abuse issues. If Qatar were to build these stadia for the WC22, it would be a near certainty that they would use forced servitude (slavery) to get it done.
      FIFA wants to “kick racism out” of the sport, but at the same time they won’t use the only bit of leverage they have in making a decision that would be supportive of the ideals they put forth.

  14. re: Heung-Min Son, i thought he was a forward. i guess maybe he’s an attacking mid, a la kagawa (who i’m assuming he’d be replacing at man u)?

  15. wonder if this means blatter and friends will have give back all of the bribes and kickbacksto the sheiks? oh my mistake, he voted for the US- all his bribes came from Russia.

    • Have you ever read Andrew Jennings book “Foul: The Secret World of FIFA Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals”? Excellent book. No Bribe money ever gets returned, it just get transferred to different accounts. Blatter is nothing more than a Pimp running a prostitution ring.


Leave a Comment