2015 has certainly been a strange year for the ever-controversial figures down at FIFA so far.
Sepp Blatter may have already experienced a shock re-election, then subsequent resignation as the head of football’s most prominent world governing body, but that’s not all the shady Swiss 79-year-old has been subject to in recent weeks.
Several of his key men at FIFA have been hunted down across the globe and supposedly brought to justice – with second in command, Jerome Valke, reportedly going into hiding. The institute have been accused of taking millions of dollars worth of bribes in relation to the South Africa, Russia and Qatar World Cups – and as the FBI themselves are the ones currently combing over the corruption in football with such a fine tooth comb – FIFA really do seem to be in trouble this time.
In light of such a notion, the futures of both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups remain heavily in doubt, with the nation of Qatar seemingly looking unfit to host the tournament in particular.
So, with the home of the Premier League currently residing over some of the most long-standing, historic and suitable infrastructure to take the reins in 2022 should the time come – does England deserve to hold the 2022 World Cup, or is this country simply being unrealistic by asking such a question?
Well, even though the Russian stake to host the 2018 finals has been the subject of its own cloudy circumstances – such as the continued racism in football grounds across the country and clear links to the recent FIFA bribery scandal – the approaching nature of the Russia World Cup means that it’s ultimately a bit late in the day to change the plans now. Qatar ‘s accepted 2022 bid however, remains very much up for grabs after Sepp Blatter’s latest problems.
From the get go, such a country really had very little right to win the bid when nation’s such as England were involved. Yes such a stance is easy to take on with a naturally English perspective – but as this is the country that arguably handed the sport itself to the rest of the world – no one can say that this nation isn’t overdue when it comes to hosting World Cups.
This is not about England winning the tournament though – for god knows such a notion always seems a long way off even at the best of times – this is about fairness. England pay host to perhaps the most captivating and widely appreciated domestic football in the world thanks to the Premier League, and with the likes of Wembley, the Emirates, Old Trafford and St. James’ Park already in place and suitable to host matches almost at the drop of the hat, no one could accuse this country of not being ready to host a World Cup either.
The same just can’t be said of Qatar however. This is a nation with absolutely no footballing history, a climate that prevents the tournament from being played in its traditional summer spot, and a death toll not to be taken lightly in regards to stadium construction.
The workers of the 2022 World Cup are almost having to re-experience the world of slavery within all of this – as with several Bangladeshi construction employees reportedly having to hand in their passports upon entry to the country, and then subsequently not receiving their earnings as expected – something is seriously going wrong here.
FIFA was set up to work for Sepp Blatter clearly without morals in mind, and if Qatar continue to host the finals as expected in 2022, then those morals will have most certainly been left by the wayside in the cold light of day.
Yes, it will always be a tough decision to turn these plans on their head, for a lot of work and fatality has gone into the stadium construction projects so far in the middle eastern nation – but if the right choice ultimately has to be made – then so be it.
No one wants to see a winter world cup, no one wants millions to die as a result of football’s most illustrious competition, and everyone wants to see the money grabbing at FIFA come to a definitive end. England haven’t hosted a World Cup in almost 50 years. Such a tournament shouldn’t be handed out all over the place on a charity-like basis, the World Cup deserves to be held in a country worthy of its spectacle.
With England certainly falling into that categorically with its population of football adoring fans, it’s high time FIFA finally done some work and gave the 2022 a proper home in light of their latest dressing down.