The good thing about the Qatar 2022 date change

March 31, 2015

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“When cities put forward a bid to stage the Olympics, the date of the Games is an explicit part of the proposal. IOC members know what they are voting for. This, of course, was not the case in the race to stage the 2022 World Cup. An inspection group carried out a detailed study into the bids, and put the information at the disposal of FIFA’s Executive Committee – which proceeded to take little notice. They chose Qatar with barely a thought for the logistical problems and world football has been in a bind ever since. It would seem that some sort of compromise is being worked out. A conventional June/July World Cup presented the obvious problem of extreme heat, and so the tournament is set to be staged in November and December.” The World Game – Tim Vickery

FIFA May Regret a Qatar World Cup After All

March 27, 2015

When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, an evaluation report expressed concerns about the health and safety of players and spectators in the heat.
“Since 1930, every World Cup has been played during the months of June and July, with the occasional match as early as May. Last week, FIFA confirmed that the 2022 tournament, in Qatar, will be held during the winter, with the final scheduled for December 18th. When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, in 2009, an evaluation report expressed concerns about the health and safety of players and spectators in the heat—daytime temperatures reach over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Despite the warnings, in December 2010 the FIFA executive committee selected the country as its World Cup host. Allegations about vote-buying and bribery (not to mention human-rights abuses) have plagued FIFA and Qatar ever since.” New Yorker

Qatar Hero

December 17, 2014

“… This friend will remain anonymous, for two reasons: firstly, while he won’t mind my re-telling the tale in question he would probably prefer not to see his own name in print; secondly, his name wouldn’t mean much to most readers anyway. This friend could adopt Descartes’s larvatus prodeo [masked, I proceed] as his motto, as the path he’s followed in football, which took him to very high places indeed, remains largely uncharted. He wouldn’t have it any other way.” Blizzard

Whistle-blower who took on FIFA power brokers

November 26, 2014

“One of the questions I’ve been asked the most in the 10 days since judge Hans-Joachim Eckert’s summary was published of Michael Garcia’s report into the conduct of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, is the extent to which I’m upset with the comments about me as the ‘Australian whistleblower.’ The answer is: not that much — and there are two reasons.” CNN

Qatar 2022 World Cup: When will tournament take place?

November 5, 2014

“Football’s movers and shakers met in Zurich on Monday to discuss the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. But are we any closer to finding out at what time of year the tournament will be played? In 2010, Qatar stunned the football world by winning the right to stage the 2022 World Cup. It fought off competition from the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea to land the biggest football contest on the planet.” BBC

As concerns continue to build, will a Qatar World Cup really happen?

August 3, 2014

“The city that will host the 2022 World Cup final doesn’t yet exist. And so, on a relatively temperate day in Qatar—97 degrees at 3:45 p.m.—you drive a half hour north from Doha, past all the construction cranes, past the billboards heralding the future (Lusail City, Iconic City, We Will Make It Happen) to the patch of bare desert sand that, eight years hence, will stage the planet’s biggest Big Game. You step out of the car, and your sunglasses fog up instantly. In the distance you can make out a white school bus carrying migrant workers—from Nepal, perhaps, or India—to a nearby job site.” SI

How to Follow Soccer Now that the World Cup Is Over

July 22, 2014

“The World Cup is over, and the quadrennial outbreak of American soccer fever is slowly subsiding. In the aftermath of the most-popular soccer tournament in U.S. history, though, there are signs that some are sticking with the sport. There’s been a post–World Cup spike in Major League Soccer viewership, according to ESPN, and MLS streaming packages are reportedly up 300 percent. If you’re still feeling that soccer itch but don’t how to scratch it, here are the many ways to keep up on the sport between now and 2018. The obvious place to start is the already-underway MLS season. There are 15 American metropolises with teams, and new franchises are coming to Orlando and New York next season and to Atlanta in 2017.” Slate (Video)