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Monday Evening Ticker: Qatar official responds to critics; Debuchy out three months; and more

The Khalifa International Stadium, set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, on Jan 9 2014 in Doha, Qatar - Photograph by Lars Baron/Getty Images


Despite recent comments from a FIFA official to the contrary, Qatari officials remain firm when it comes to their World Cup preparations.

FIFA executive Theo Zwanziger voiced his belief that the 2022 World Cup should be held elsewhere due to climate concerns, but Qatar 2022 communications director Nasser Al Khater insists that the tournament will go on as planned on Qatari soil.

“The only question now is when, not if,” Al Khater said in a statement. “Summer or winter, we will be ready.”

Al Khater went on to say that Qatar continues to have faith in their ability to maintain a healthy environment.

“We have proven that a FIFA World Cup in Qatar in the summer is possible with state-of-the-art cooling technology,” said Al Khater. “We have demonstrated that our cooling works in outdoor areas beyond stadiums. This summer we welcomed fans in Doha to an open-air Brazil 2014 Fan Zone with temperatures cooled to a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius.

“The evolution of environmentally-friendly cooling technologies is an important legacy for our nation, region and for countries with similar climates – promising to expand the reach of hosting major sporting events to countries where it was never thought possible before.”

Here are some more of Monday’s news and notes:


 Few teams in Europe have been bitten by the injury bug quite as hard as Arsenal, who will now be without yet another key player for an extended period of time.

Defender Mathieu Debuchy, who signed from Newcastle just this summer, is set to miss three months after suffering ligament damage in a draw with Manchester City back on Sept. 13.

“He had surgery on Friday and will be out for three months,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. “A reasonable delay is three months. All went well. It can be a week or two earlier or a week or two later but it will be around three months.

“It is a blow. How big it will be we will only know afterwards because it will be down to how well we replace him. We bought (Callum) Chambers for that.”

Debuchy joins Nacho Monreal, Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry on Arsenal’s injury list, meaning Wenger will likely be forced to turn to some of the club’s young stars for this Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash with Southampton.

“On Tuesday night you might see Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin and Isaac Hayden,” Wenger said. “In the squad we have Chuba Akpom and Semi Ajayi as well. These are the players that are the closest.”


After more than a year away due to injury, Ilkay Gundogan may finally be set to make his long-awaited return.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been out for 13 months after suffering a back injury while on international duty with Germany, but the 23-year-old is back in training and awaiting his comeback game.

However, manager Jurgen Klopp insists that he won’t rush the midfielder back as Gundogan eases back into fitness after spending over a year away from the game.

“With Ilkay it looks great,” Klopp said, “but we must ensure that he gets fitness. If you believe that someone is after 14 months out with two weeks full training should be back in the squad – there must be a squad really have problems.”

Klopp’s side return to action Wednesday against Stuttgart after suffering a 2-0 loss to Mainz last time out.


After spending the past few seasons away from the international game, Carlos Tevez expecting to return to the Argentina National Team set-up.

However, that return will not come in the Albiceleste’s upcoming tour of Asia.

Manager Gerardo Martino has released a squad of 19 foreign-based league players for Argentina’s Asian-based friendlies with Brazil on Oct. 11 and Hong Kong Oct. 14. Included on Martino’s squad is a returning Lionel Messi, who missed out on his nation’s last game due to injury.

However, despite being rumored to be on the squad, Tevez’s name was not on the list, although Martino insisted he was happy with the striker’s recent form with Juventus.

“I am not going to say if he is or is not in the next call-up,” Martino said, “but what does need to be said is what Tévez himself declared: ‘I have to work hard on the pitch to win a place,’ and he is undoubtedly doing very well.”

Here is the rest of Argentina’s foreign-based squad for their upcoming Asian friendlies:

Goalkeepers: Nahuel Guzmán, Sergio Romero.

Defenders: Santiago Vergini, Mateo Musacchio, Pablo Zabaleta, Martín Demichelis, Marcos Rojo, Federico Fernández.

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano, Roberto Pereyra, Lucas Biglia, Javier Pastore, Angel Di María, Erik Lamela, Enzo Pérez, Nicolás Gaitán.

Attackers: Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuaín, Sergio Agüero.

How confident are you in Qatar’s cooling technology? How will Arsenal cope with so many injuries? How much of a difference will Gundogan make for Borussia Dortmund this season? What do you think about Tevez’s exclusion?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. There is no way the cup can be successfully run in Qatar. If it goes on it will be a tv world cup. Only the players and maybe their relatives and friends will go. re: the 22 degree outdoor fan fest they had in Doha, I would like to know how big was the area, how many people could it hold, and for how long a period of time was it at 22 degrees. Don’t forget, there are many more fans that go to a world cup for a vacation and to party than those that go with tickets to attend some of the actual games.

    And what is it with the total nonsense from some of you about Russia in 2018. It will be a great environment and experience for everyone attending. I hope to go myself. I would make a bet and say that a much higher percentage of fans in every continent except N. America would rather go to a world cup in Russia than one in the U.S. (fwiw, I would like to see one come back to the U.S. soon).

    • Glad someone mentioned this.

      Brazilian stadiums had a significant amount of women. Why would women fly to a venue with segregated seating and told that they have to cover up from head to toe in 114 degree weather?

      The snowball that is corruption/slavery/womens rights issues around qatar will not hold up. Book your tickets to australia. Their league needs it more than MLS does. And Ives, and the rest of us been looking for a reason to go.

  2. “Al Khater went on to say that Qatar continues to have faith in their ability to maintain a healthy environment” for everybody above the slave caste…

    • I personally hope we don’t go if FIFA insists on this farce. I love the World Cup as an event more than any other sporting event on Earth…but is it worth the 4,000 lives – and enslavement of tens of thousands more – to get a month of great television? It’ll be even tougher watching Qatar’s team of “naturalized” Brazilians, knowing they probably recruited – and discarded – 1,000 impoverished Brazilian youth players to find their 23.

      Some hands you just don’t shake. Stomaching Russia and their likely bought World Cup will be tough enough, especially since Putin is essentially a mob boss masquerading as a president, but Qatar is one of the last slave states left on planet Earth, and FIFA wants all of us to get into bed with them and make nice?


  3. Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
    If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
    Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?


    • Judgement of Biblical proportions awaits the passive bystanders who let this human travesty happen. Mock if you like. Ignore to your own peril.

  4. Incredible. The most troubling aspect of all was not even addressed- workers from places like Nepal having their passports taken on entry, treated like slaves, and dying in 130 F heat.

    • If you had done those things, would you address them?

      Expect nothing from these folks. You’ll only be mildly mortified, which is the best you can hope for.

    • What if you schedule a World Cup, and no one comes?

      FIFA is running a very large risk of having all the major European powers, Australia, and America, at the very least, pull out of the ’22 World Cup. Which would cause a schism that would ultimately result in the end of FIFA.

      Qatar ’22 is gone. Pretty much all that remains is for FIFA to officially muster the balls to stick a fork in it.

      Personally, I hope Australia gets it. The last thing I want is the Arab world blaming the USA for “stealing their World Cup from them”…though undoubtedly, they will anyway.

      • Slave labor…and slaves dying…The heat of Hell on Earth middle-East is actually really low on my list of priorities for why people should boycott a Qatari World Cup.

      • +1…. and no word from Blatter, Platini, FIFA…

        strictly speaking on a monetary perspective, Germany and England in UEFA can start the boycott. In CONCACAF US and Canada, in Oceania, Australia… in south america… probably hmm…. nobody.

        I dont trust the Frenchies as they mix WC support voting power and State contracts with potential host nations.
        I dont trust brazil who itself killed their own workers to put on a mediocre show.

      • Its not when… it’s how much. The minute the Qatari’s get a wiff of a change in direction the FIFA board may take, out will come the checkbooks. With new payments under and over the table, expect FIFA officials to make out like bandits.

        Its worked before.
        Also expect FIFA to deep six the finding of the corruption probe on the WC bidding (at substantial costs to the Qatari’s)

        FIFA put itself out there by allowing the charade of a bidding process to pick two absolute pickles, Russia and Qatar.

        Lets hope more intelligent heads prevail and undo at least Qatar, and hold the US in reserve when Russia get sanctioned by Europe and the UN over the Ukrainian debacle and force FIFA to move..on short notice to the US

      • bcaps, I really agree with your last 2 paragraphs. The Qatar WC should be moved for hot temps & other reasons to the USA and the Russian WC should be moved because of Putins warfare/killings in the Ukraine to eastern EU countries (to stick it to him).

      • pressure has to be put on sponsors…who in turn demand changes….or pull out all together.

        McD’s, Bud, coke all need to shamed into pulling out or exerting pressure.

        money talks. FIFA won’t listen until its wallets are in jeopardy.

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