Sepp Blatter: 'Qatar World Cup may be a mistake'

President of FIFA, Joseph 'Sepp' Blatter, gives a press conference following a meeting of the FIFA task force with Paletestinian and Israelian football federations in Zurich, on September 3, 2013
© Getty Images
FIFA president Sepp Blatter admits that awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may have been a mistake.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted that world football's governing body may have made a mistake in awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The decision was widely criticised at the time due to summer temperatures in the country reaching 50C as well as controversial laws against issues such as homosexuality.

Blatter has since raised the possibility of moving the World Cup to the winter to avoid the heat problem, but the 77-year-old has now acknowledged that the decision to award Qatar the World Cup in the first place may have been a mistake.

"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," Blatter told "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?

"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 onto others in far away 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."

Qatar was chosen ahead of South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to host the 2022 World Cup.

Sepp Blatter
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