For anyone new to soccer, Sepp Blatter is essentially the President of all things soccer. When there are decisions to be made about goal-line technology, lengthy bans for match-fixing, or any relatively stupid move that world soccer makes, Blatter is typically the man behind it all. And, with his most recent choice to firmly plant his foot in a large pile of soccer related dung, it requires me to step into the ring with the balding Swiss and call him on this move.
There has already been enough written about how “intelligent” a decision FIFA made when electing to put the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, so this will focus on Blatter’s recent statement REGARDING the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Blatter has flirted with the thought of moving the World Cup from the summer months into a winter tournament to accommodate the incredible heat that Qatar will experience during the summer. He said that he came to this decision after spending a few summer months in the middle east, notably Israel and Jordon, countries whose summer heat pales in comparison to Qatar’s. With his most recent outing, Blatter has all but confirmed that he and his cronies on the executive committee will place the Qatar World Cup in the winter months.
This move is absolutely ridiculous. There is a reason that every major international tournament takes place during the summer and there is a reason that the World Cup has fallen into the summer since its inception. Blatter says that the 2022 World Cup would be the only time the WC would be moved to the winter and that everything would go back to normal afterwards. The only issue with that is the simple fact that every major European competition will be going on during the winter months and it is not simply a case of shifting a few games for a little while.
Moving a World Cup into the winter is a big admittance that placing the Cup in Qatar “may” have been a mistake. Interrupting the major European league in the middle of their season is such a massive mistake that I refuse to even start in on it. Also, because of the placement of the World Cup, most small injuries that are obtained during the Cup are either gone or barely there once the season gets started. With a winter tournament, who is to say if there will be any time for players and clubs to rest and heal after such a major tournament?
Blatter says “Yes, but it’s only a year, then they can go back to normal rhythm again,” but I think that there is no way that actually happens. The World Cup is a massive undertaking. To hope that it would not affect everything by moving the tournament 5 months is a hope that lies somewhere near impossible. If the Chicago Cubs start winning the World Series or if England starts snagging WC titles, Blatter’s idea might start making a little bit of sense. However, in the current climate, he still sounds like a crazy old man that will bow to the biggest stack of money. Let’s hope that by the time 2022 rolls around, the rest of the footballing world has caught on and kicked this nuisance to the curb.