FIFA Exec Theo Zwanziger Says Awarding Qatar 2022 World Cup A 'Blatant Mistake'
FIFA Exec Committee member Theo Zwanziger said that awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was a "blatant mistake," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Zwanziger added that "staging the tournament in winter would be just as big a problem." Zwanziger's comments come after FIFA President Sepp Blatter "repeated his view that the finals could not be played in the traditional summer slot." Zwanziger, formerly head of the German football federation, said, "It was a blatant mistake." Zwanziger also said that "shifting the tournament to the winter months would put the unity of German football in danger." Zwanziger: "Changing the World Cup to the winter is going deep into the structures of European national federations and also amateur football in Germany." Moving the World Cup to the winter "would have a seismic effect" on football scheduling in Europe. Many leagues outside Britain "have a winter break but would need a hiatus of at least six weeks to accommodate national teams preparing for, and playing at, the World Cup finals." Zwanziger said, "A winter World Cup would mean public viewing with ice skating boots in freezing temperatures" (REUTERS, 7/24).