FIFA Medical Officer Claims There Will Be No Re-Vote For 2022 World Cup Hosting Rights
FIFA Medical Chief Michel D'Hooghe said that "he is convinced there will not be a re-vote for the Qatar 2022 World Cup," according to the PA. D'Hooghe, who was one of the FIFA exec committee members who took part in the votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Dec. '10, believes that "there was no corruption involved in the bidding." D'Hooghe said, "There will be absolutely no re-vote. Some in the English press want that. But it's not the English press that decide." D'Hooghe did, however, "reiterate his belief that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar cannot be played in the heat of summer." The heat was "pointed out as a potentially seriously problem by the technical inspectors who reported on the bid." D'Hooghe: "In my capacity as chairman of the medical committee, I said the same -- that in Qatar, we have to avoid the warmest period of the year" (PA, 4/1). The AFP reported D’Hooghe, who led the unsuccessful joint Belgium/Holland bid for '18, added that many within FIFA "felt continued British criticism of the bid process was 'partly sour grapes' over the rejection of England’s 2018 offer and that no matter how much football’s world governing body reformed its structure, it would never satisfy some of its harshest critics" (AFP, 4/1). In Melbourne, Daniel Cherny reported Australian broadcaster Les Murray "has called on FIFA to strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup if the gulf nation does not hastily improve the conditions for those working on the construction of stadia for the tournament." Cherny said, "FIFA's under real pressure here because FIFA is on message about using football to improve people's lives, so how can you give the hosting rights to a country where the most basic human rights are ignored" (THE AGE, 4/1).