FIFA Bids Farewell to Tradition in 2022
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup coming to a close this weekend–third place on Saturday and the final on Sunday–people are already starting to look to the next World Cup in Qatar.
You know, that
soccer-rich culture crazy hot Middle Eastern country that surely has at least one soccer ball within its borders.
While I am not a fan of people immediately dismissing the moment for the future, there was news that broke today that was eye-opening. FIFA President Gianni Infantino (Swiss) confirmed that said World Cup in Qatar four years from now will be November 21-December 18. And in announcing the unorthodox schedule for a tournament meant to be played in June and July, Mr. Infantino added this remark.
“Leagues around the world have been informed already, and of course they will have to adapt.”
“…of course they will have to adapt” is quite the statement to make regarding a host country whose bid process was a bit shady, to say the least. The perception looked like a cash grab by FIFA and Qatar with accusations of corruption in the voting process.
Having traveled to Qatar years back, it’s a nice country and I’m glad I stayed the night, having taken in its burgeoning skyline. It’s sort of a mini Dubai–the new Dubai–to a restrained extent. But when other soccer-rich countries and cultures lost the bid for 2022, that seemed a bit odd.
And now the FIFA president has the gall to speak down to the world’s top soccer leagues–steeped in storied history and tradition, as well as world-class talent–to force them to adapt?
FIFA should have adapted to the traditional needs of the World Cup and its participating coaches and players in awarding the tournament for 2022. Particularly given the historical fallout via corruption charges waged against former FIFA President Sepp Blatter (Swiss) and Co. in 2015 and FIFA officials concerning the Qatar bid, FIFA has yet to earn back the benefit of the doubt in cases like the 2022 bid.
FYI – The road of redemption for FIFA will be long and weighed down in a myriad of heated debates. And it doesn’t help that this road for FIFA is being built to travel through Qatar in November and December.
P.S. Liquor is heavily restricted in Qatar. Well, at least soccer fans aren’t famously known for drinking an alcoholic beverage or two, in a stadium or a pub, when watching the beautiful game…
P.P.S. One unresolved issue still under review is whether the 2022 FIFA World Cup will include 48 teams. No, no and no. It may be time for a competitive marketplace of alternative governing bodies to emerge to challenge FIFA and its endless train of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ideas as conducted by the Swiss. Perhaps it’s fitting this type of news broke on Friday the 13th.