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Sports Minister Hugh Robertson lambasts FIFA handling of Qatar 2022 World Cup

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Sports minister Hugh Robertson thinks the only way forward for Qatar 2022 is a winter move, saying that FIFA have made 'a mess' of the competition.

The 2022 competition has caused massive controversy after the bid was given to Qatar despite scorching temperatures in the summer making it impossible to play there. FIFA's Executive Committee meet later this week when it is widely thought they will confirm a move to the winter for Qatar 2022, something backed by Robertson and all 54 members of UEFA.

Robertson said: "I don't think anybody in the world of football thinks a World Cup in Qatar in the summer is a sensible or deliverable option."

"To that extent, this is a mess of FIFA's own making. I don't blame the Qataris at all - they wanted the World Cup and every country is entitled to have that ambition and they entered the bidding competition in the way suggested by FIFA. I entirely blame FIFA."

His comments will do little to mend relations between FIFA and the government, which have been strained since England's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup in 2010.

"I don't have much of a relationship with FIFA." He admitted. "I have a good one with UEFA but we did say in 2010 after the 2018 World Cup bid that we didn't wish to deal with FIFA again until they have reformed their governance."

The Australian Football Federation wants compensation for the £30million that they spent on their own 2022 bid, something which Robertson agrees with.

He said: "FIFA has to remember there are a series of other countries who bid for that 2022 World Cup in good faith and are now going to find the goal-posts have moved."

"If it's held in the winter that's absolutely sensible but to have a re-pitch would be quite unfair on the Qataris."

"I think a deal should be done where the fact the Qataris won it fair and square is acknowledged but other nations who bid for 2022 are compensated in some shape or form, either financially or by hosting other FIFA tournaments."

 

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