Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter claims awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup was a mistake. The Swiss soccer official was at the helm when the Middle Eastern country won the bid for the upcoming tournament. Blatter, however, is still adamant that he personally did not vote for Qatar.

In a recent interview with Swiss outlet Tages-Anzeiger, Blatter insisted there was a plan to give the United States the 2022 World Cup.

“The choice of Qatar was a mistake,” Blatter said. “At the time, we actually agreed in the executive committee that Russia should get the 2018 World Cup and the USA that of 2022.”

“It would have been a gesture of peace if the two long-standing political opponents had hosted the World Cup one after the other.“

Along with other obvious issues in allowing Qatar to host a World Cup, the former FIFA boss stated that the size of the nation is also a problem. “It’s too small a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for that,” proclaimed Blatter.

Blatter’s reign with the world’s governing body of the sport was from 1998 to 2015. Then, the governing body essentially banned him from any FIFA activities following a corruption case. He was acquitted of all fraud charges in July. However, FIFA upholds its ban on Blatter.

Blatter regrets Qatar earning World Cup hosting

With the Qatar World Cup less than two weeks away, there is more negative attention to the tournament than positive. Ten soccer associations, including England and Wales, demand FIFA fulfills promises on the migrant worker crisis.

Previously, FIFA agreed to help compensate Qatar migrant workers and their families. Thousands of these workers lived in abhorrent conditions. Throughout the preparations for the World Cup, thousands suffered injuries or even death. Yet, FIFA is yet to take on these issues.

In a joint statement, these nations demanded that the organization get the ball rolling on the issue. “FIFA has repeatedly committed to deliver concrete answers on these issues – the compensation fund for migrant workers, and the concept of a migrant workers centre to be created in Doha – and we will continue to press for these to be delivered,” the statement said.

qatar world cup ambassador makes anti-lgbtq+ comments

Along with the migrant worker crisis, anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments inside Qatar have also been a massive concern. Homosexuality is unlawful in the Middle Eastern country. The death sentence is a possible punishment for homosexuality. Qatar FIFA World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman even recently claimed that homosexuality “damaged the mind.”

In an interview with German outlet ZDF, Salman raised questions about Qatari children possibly learning “something that is not good” during the World Cup. “Let’s talk about gays,” Salman continued. “The most important thing is, everybody will accept that they come here. But they will have to accept our rules.”

The World Cup in Qatar starts on Sunday, Nov. 20.


Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of the biggest event in soccer!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final