This week’s main report is all about FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. We ask some fans what they think of these rather controversial choices. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post.
Well, it’s almost a week since the decision by FIFA to choose Russia to host the 2018 and Qatar the 2022 World Cups have been made and the fall out continues.
The British media reacted angrily and suggested that corruption had played a large part in the choices of venues but FIFA hit back by suggesting that the media slurs against their organization had affected the vote, while the victorious Russian bid suggested that complaining about the rules after a winner had been decided smacked of sour grapes. It is hard not to disagree with the Russians on this one though I am not sure there are too many people who would sympathise with FIFA’s complaints of an overly-enthusiastic investigative press.
I think most people however do have a problem with the choice of Qatar for the 2022 finals. The stifling heat and the lack of infrastructure may be problems that the hosts can overcome but suggestions that the tournament might be played in the European winter months should cause many to be concerned. FIFA, of course, suggested that their decision to have the finals held in this Gulf State was due to their desire to see football expand into new regions; after going East in 2002 and to Africa in 2006 and to the east of Europe in 2018 this makes sense but I can’t help feeling that if FIFA realy wanted to have the tournament in an Arab-speaking country then football-crazy Tunisia, Egypt or Algeria would have made far more sense.
We asked three football fans what they thought of the decision. Tim and Simon are two England fans while first up is Hans who is German-Australian.
the fall out continues: The arguments about the decision have not stopped
media slurs: The press attacked the process
smacked of sour grapes: The defeated teams were unhappy with the decision and complained (like a baby!)
investigative press: A media that wants to find out about difficult or dangerous stories
The stifling heat: It is so hot that it is hard to breathe
this Gulf State: Qatar
going East: The Japan/Korea World Cup