The 2022 World Cup will likely be taken away from Qatar after a report found that FIFA officials accepted bribes to award the tournament to the Middle Eastern nation.
The bombshell report comes from London’s Sunday Times, which noted that hosting duties would likely be taken from Qatar and put up for a new round of bidding.
The report included millions of documents and e-mails provided by a senior FIFA officials, reportedly revealing how FIFA Vice President Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar gave $5 million in cash and gifts to win the 2022 World Cup.
Even before the report, there have been many logistical problems with hosting the World Cup in Qatar. Earlier this year, FIFA officials hinted that the tournament would have to be moved from its traditional time in the summer into the winter, avoiding the scorching heat of Qatar’s summer months.
“The dates for the World Cup will not be June-July,” noted FIFA’s second in command, Jérôme Valcke. “If you play between 15 November and the end of December that’s the time when the weather conditions are best — when you can play in temperatures equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe, averaging 25 degrees [77 degrees Fahrenheit]. That would be perfect for playing football.”
FIFA would later walk back Valcke’s comments, but most experts believe there is no way the 2022 World Cup could be played in the summer months. Concerns over player and fan safety would likely take over, that is if Qatar is to keep its bid to host the tournament.
The build-up for the 2022 event has also been filled with controversy, including reports that the workers being used to build stadiums and infrastructure needed for the tournament are akin to slave labor.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) warned that as many as 4,000 migrant workers will be killed in the dangerous construction work by the time the World Cup 2022 kicks off.
The shaky status of Qatar’s World Cup is even showing in British odds makers. William Hill, the UK’s largest betting house, is offering 8-11 odds that the emirate will lose its bid.
The agency believes that the United States could be the leading alternative if the World Cup 2022 is moved from Qatar, with Japan, South Korea, Australia, and England as other possible choices.