Richard Scudamore calls for meaningful consultation before Fifa move World Cup to winter date
Governing body set to appoint a task force today to look into the controversial move
A Fifa spokesman insisted there was “no doubt” the 2022 tournament would be played in Qatar, despite the ongoing investigation by Michael Garcia, the head of the investigatory arm of Fifa’s ethics committee, into the election process.
‘Play in winter’
“What is open to question is if we play in winter – and if so, is it November, December, January? But there is no doubt we will play in Qatar,” he said.
Fifa are now set to appoint a task force today to look into the controversial winter move. Blatter is understood to be considering appointing controversial Bahrain Fifa member Sheikh Salman al Khalifa – who has been accused of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses – to head the task force.
Fifa’s ethics chief Garcia has embarked on an investigation of all 2018 and 2022 bidders with France Football magazine this week suggesting one Fifa member had been involved in property deals linked to Qatar.
Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, has no concerns about any retribution and likened the allegations to outlandish conspiracy theories
Asked about the France Football allegations, he added: “Read the story and realise I think, sooner or later at a point in time, I think what we’re going to see is a picture of the grassy knoll in the JFK assassination and instead of it being smoke they’re going to say it’s the Qatari headdress and it’s us.
“For us, we’ve always indicated we’ve adhered to every rule within Fifa, we actually went to great length – in many different situations – to ensure that we’re within the bidding rules and the bidding registration rules.”
In relation to the issue of migrant workers, after an investigation revealed dozens of Nepalese had died and there is apparent widespread ill treatment, Al Thawadi said it was an issue that was being tackled even before the 2010 World Cup vote and was being accelerated by being tournament hosts. He said: “When it comes to people dying it is not a media issue – it’s a humanitarian issue, in the end it’s human nature. Is it acceptable? Nobody accepts it. The statements from the government indicates that.”