FIFA, football’s governing body, have announced the two most likely dates for the controversial 2022 Qatar World Cup, and it’s not good news for the Winter Olympics.
The four yearly football tournament is now penciled in for either January/February, or November/December 2022. The former, however, will clash with the Winter Olympics that are set to be held in either Almaty, Kazakhstan or Beijing, China.
In the past, FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, and IOC chief Thomas Bach – the man who has overall control of all things Olympic – have agreed that the two events should not clash. If the World Cup and the Winter Olympics ran at the same time, the television audience would be split.
While this is obviously bad for fans of both, it also means that potential advertising revenue would drop significantly, so this is a ballsy, if not arrogant move by the soccer folk.
The whole debacle came about when FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, the insanely oil rich country in the Middle East. However, only after announcing the location, did somebody think that holding a football tournament during high summer in the Middle East would be a bit too warm. Idiots.
It remains to be seen which date FIFA will plump for. However, it’s worth remembering that many European football leagues have a winter break, but all play during November and December, making the January/February option much more palatable to them.
Some big clubs have even suggested that they will not release any international players from their squads if the World Cup disrupts their season. The path of least resistance for the morally questionable football chiefs appears to be the January/February option, setting the World Cup on a collision course with the Winter Olympics.
It seems absolutely criminal that the likes of young UK snowboarders Will Gilmore who could be going to his first Olympics in 2022, and Katie Ormerod who’ll surely be heading to her 2nd by then, would have to share their limelight with the preened and pampered boys in studs and shin pads.
Finally, just because we’ll take any excuse to post it, here’s a video of FIFA head honcho Sepp Blatter falling of a stage. You’re welcome.