Zurich: Fifa has launched a consultation process to decide whether to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar away from the traditional June-July slot and will not make a decision until mid-2014 at the earliest.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Friday that Fifa “would not turn a blind eye” to allegations of labour abuses in Qatar following reports that dozens of Nepali workers had died on building sites in the country over the summer.
Qatar was awarded the right to host the competition in December 2010, in a decision based on its plans to stage the event in June-July using air-conditioned stadiums to combat the fierce heat.
Despite Qatar’s assurances that the plan is viable, there has been widespread concern over the health of the players and visiting fans in the searing conditions of the desert summer.
Blatter said there was no question of staging the tournament elsewhere. “The 2022 World Cup will be played in Qatar. There you are,” he said at a news conference on Friday.
“The decision of the executive committee taken in December 2010 is still there and there is no reason to call into question this decision, even though we only had 22 members who voted,” he said.
Blatter said all stakeholders would be involved in the consultation. “The stakeholders include the players, the clubs, the leagues, the national federations, the confederations and Fifa, but it doesn’t only include sports,” he said.
“There are other partners, economic ones, be they from marketing, the media or television. We also need to bear in mind our obligations towards these partners, so we need to carry out very deep consultation and show some diplomacy and wisdom.”
No decision would be taken until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which finishes in July.