Qatar should be stripped of World Cup: FIFA’s Zwanziger
BERLIN – Qatar should be stripped of the 2022 World Cup in order to rectify the mistake of awarding them the world’s biggest single sports event, outgoing FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger said on Tuesday.
Zwanziger, the former boss of Germany’s football association (DFB), said that could happen, however, only if a report into how the World Cup was awarded offers details of specific wrongdoing.
“The best solution would be not to play in Qatar and to rectify this wrong awarding,” he told Bayern 2 radio station.
“But that can only happen if the report provides sufficient clues that the awarding broke FIFA ethics rules,” he said.
FIFA has been plagued by a wave of scandals and controversy, ranging from allegations of corruption in the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding processes to a row over $25,000 watches given as gifts to executive committee members at the World Cup in Brazil.
Former U.S. attorney Michael Garcia who investigated the claims and drafted a report, resigned in December, saying he felt he was no longer making progress and that soccer’s governing body “lacked leadership.”
His report has not been made public while a redacted version will be published at an undisclosed date.
Garcia resigned after a disagreement with Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the ethics committee’s judgment chamber, over the handling of his report.
“Qatar was not suitable to host such a World Cup for a number of reasons,” Zwanziger, who steps down from FIFA in May, said, citing among other the scorching desert temperatures.
FIFA is expected to move the tournament to winter.
The energy-rich Gulf state has also been criticized over migrants’ working conditions and protection of their human rights as they build the multi-million dollar football stadiums.
“One has to tell candidates (for World Cups) that sports, football, the clubs and FIFA, they all represent values that we expect to be observed,” said Zwanziger. – Reuters