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Garber: Problems around Qatar World Cup could be ‘monumental disaster’ for soccer
March 19, 2014 04:35 PM
“We certainly would be happy to host it here and have a lot of big stadiums that could turn it around and host on very short notice,” said Garber, who spoke on the opening panel of 2014 IMG World Congress of Sports. “But we’re going to be on the sidelines on this and hope that FIFA can resolve this in a way that’s good for the sport.”
Garber’s comments followed a question about reports claiming that former FIFA executive committee member Jack Warner took $1.2 million in bribes from a Qatari group prior to FIFA’s vote to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup. FIFA is investigating the allegations.
“That now is going to get a lot more legs,” Garber said. “If more comes out, who knows what happens. It’s very disappointing. It’s an unpleasant aspect of the global football business.”
Garber said the uncertainty around when the 2022 Qatar World Cup would be held “is a very difficult situation for our sport.” There’s talk that it could be in November of 2021 or January of 2022.
“Their broadcast partners here might have a problem with it going up against (NFL) football,” Garber said. “It affects all of us for many, many years.”