By Alex Storey.
We’ve all made bad decisions and we’ve all tried to make the best of the situation we’ve left ourselves in.
This is exactly the predicament that FIFA now finds itself in regarding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The very fact that Sepp Blatter has come out and stated that handing the 2022 tournament to Qatar was a mistake, smacks of desperation, trepidation and most importantly, humiliation for football’s governing body.
However, behind the headlines, there’s a more serious issue bubbling underneath the surface in Geneva, behind the bumbling FIFA PR machine and the criss-cross civil war fighting of delegates.
How did the Qatar bid win the delegation’s vote in the shadows of its glaring flaws and the obvious qualities of the other countries in contention?
It’s all well and good for Blatter to tell us that Qatar excited him, or that football needed to expand to new territories, something which the vast majority of the public believes will benefit the global game.
However, giving the World Cup to a country with no footballing history, a sub-standard national side and a ludicrous idea of how to combat the stifling temperatures of summertime Qatar is more than slightly suspicious.
It may seem bitter, coming from an Englishman who dreamt of seeing the World Cup in his country, but the facts remain clear.
Not only did the air-conditioned stadiums idea drawn up in the original bid suddenly get put aside, the powers that be have decided it’s for the best to rearrange the global footballing calendar to accommodate this shambolically organised tournament.
Who’s to blame for the mess then? Is Blatter held accountable due to his place atop FIFA’s golden perch? Is it the delegates for being seduced by the preposterous idea of air-conditioned stadiums and the golden dollars of the lucrative Middle-Eastern market? Or is it the Qatar bid team themselves for putting together a ramshackle of a bid hidden behind a shimmering façade and causing this upheaval and embarrassment?
Quite frankly, each party must take a share of the blame and accept ultimate responsibility for dragging football through the mud once again and butchering the spirit of one of the greatest sporting competitions on the planet.
Honestly, I hope I’m proven wrong and that the 2022 summer winter spectacular will be a great occasion for teams and fans alike, but I’m not holding my breath.
You’ll have more chance of finding water in the desert.