Sepp Blatter says FIFA may have made mistake in awarding Qatar 2022 World Cup

Sepp Blatter says it is not responsible to hold the 2022 World Cup in summer

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted for the first time that awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may have been a mistake.

And Blatter says he is hopeful that he can persuade the game's senior figures to move the Qatar World Cup to winter, rather than have matches played in temperatures of up to 50 degrees in the summer.

The final decision will be taken in October, when Blatter will try to have his proposal to switch the tournament to winter endorsed by the FIFA Executive Committee.

Asked by insideworldfootball.com about awarding Qatar the event in the first place, Blatter said: "It may well be that we made a mistake at the time.

"On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities. The World Cup is FIFA's biggest, if not only, global event. Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all?

"It may well be that we made a mistake at the time. On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities. The World Cup is FIFA's biggest, if not only, global event. Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all?"

Sepp Blatter

"I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world anymore, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will on to others in faraway places.

"We must accept that football has moved away from being a European and South American sport, it has become the world sport that billions of fans are excitedly following every week, everywhere in the world."

Regarding his plan to switch the event to winter, he said: "After many discussions, deliberations and critical review of the entire matter, I came to the conclusion that playing the World Cup in the heat of Qatar's summer was simply not a responsible thing to do.

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"First, we need to see whether the owner of the FIFA World Cup - FIFA - actually agrees with my recommendation, one that I shall table at the October 3/4 ExCo meeting, and whether it follows my advice to change the dates from summer to winter.

"Once the Executive Committee of FIFA has agreed to that, we can take the next step.

"The next steps will include a close look at the international calendar and to establish what consequences the change would have. And we would naturally need to speak to and consult with all interested parties and stakeholders."