FIFA exec: Awarding 2022 World Cup to Qatar was 'blatant mistake'

Theo Zwanziger, a member of FIFA’s executive committee, said on Wednesday that awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup was a “blatant mistake,” according to the Associated Press.

Zwanziger, formerly the president of the German soccer federation, also criticized FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s suggestion to switch the tournament from its traditional summer schedule to the winter, in order to combat Qatar’s excessive heat.

“It was a blatant mistake,” he said to Sportbild magazine. “Changing the World Cup to the winter is going deep into the structures of European national federations and also amateur football in Germany.”

He warned that switching the World Cup to the winter months could threaten the “unity of German football.”

Numerous European leagues, including the English Premier League, would be adversely interrupted as well. 

But Blatter said he would continue to urge the committee to switch the World Cup schedule, despite the apparent disruption. 

“If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer,” Blatter said. “You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country.” 

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