A couple of days ago, I saw a headline that the FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, was going to ask the executive committee to consider moving the 2022 World Cup, set to be played in Qatar (a country that borders Saudi Arabia), to the Winter. It seems to me that this should have been considered when Qatar was chosen as the host back in December (is that ironic?) of 2010.
I did some checking and since there’s been a World Cup for soccer (or football, depending on your geographic orientation), the event has always taken place in the “summer.” Every World Cup happens in the month of June or July. A few times, it started in May, but it has always, at a minimum, gone into June. Some have taken place solely in July. None of the previous 19 World Cups (dating back to 1934) have taken place in any of the other months. So, it would seem, considering moving the 2022 World Cup to the Winter would be unprecedented.
Adding another layer to this debate is that the English Premier League (one of the best soccer/football leagues in the world), isn’t interested in having the World Cup move to the Winter as it will affect their schedule. Not only will it affect one year’s schedule, but it’s likely to affect two year’s schedules. And, it will have an affect on broadcasting contracts.
As I read more and more about this story, I’m still flabbergasted that something like this wasn’t considered. It seems that someone, somewhere along the line should have thought about playing sports in 122° weather, in the Middle East, in the Summer. Along those same lines of due diligence or “thinking ahead,” I remember reading something recently about concerns that it won’t be cold enough in 2014 for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Let’s hope that those concerns aren’t realized.