On the heels of the news that the 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar will be held in the winter, FIFA yesterday announced that Qatar has lost its hosting privileges for the 2021 Confederations Cup. The reason: because summers in Qatar reach an average of 100ºF (38ºC). This fact is something the entire world has known for YEARS, is the main reason for the 2022 World Cup’s switch to November and December, and is one of the main reasons the general soccer community was against having the World Cup in Qatar at all (that and the whole “slave laborers” thing).
However, once again, this decision to give the Confederations Cup to another nation is too little, too late for FIFA. For one, the fact that FIFA’s justification for moving the Confederations Cup due to Qatar’s inability to combat these insane summer temperatures almost five full years after just about everyone in the entire world began pointing out that hey, maybe a summer soccer tournament in a desert nation is a horrible idea, only further displays FIFA’s disconnect. In addition, the Confederations Cup serves as a type of “test-run” to see how the stadiums, infrastructure, and country in general can operate a huge soccer tournament so that they can make tweaks the next year before the actual World Cup. Qatar especially needs that opportunity, since so much of its infrastructure is new and was built especially for the World Cup. Personally, I’m nervous now for the World Cup to be more of a disaster without the test-run this tournament provides. Despite FIFA’s seemingly good intentions for taking the Confederations Cup away from Qatar, this move will ultimately end up creating more potential for catastrophes at the 2022 World Cup in the long run.