Qatar may lose 2022 World Cup over temperature concerns

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Following multiple campaigns to have the 2022 World Cup removed from Qatar due to the country’s anti-gay laws, the competition may not take place there, over temperature concerns.

Gay groups in 2010 said they were “deeply concerned” by FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

The international football governing body FIFA’s taskforce last year announced its intention to put pressure on Qatar to relax its anti-gay legislation ahead of hosting the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger on Monday announced that, in his opinion, the competition will no longer take place there.

“I personally think that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar,” Zwanziger told Sport Bildon on Monday.

He continued: “Medics say that they cannot accept responsibility with a World Cup taking place under these conditions.”

Despite claims by the country that it was developing cooling technology for stadiums and training grounds, Zwanziger has said the summer temperatures may be too much, particularly for fans travelling there.

“Fans from around the world will be coming and travelling in this heat and the first life-threatening case will trigger an investigation by a state prosecutor.

“That is not something that Fifa Exco members want to answer for,” he continued.

FIFA, however, denied that Zwanziger was not speaking on behalf of the full Executive Committee, which would make such a decision as to remove the competition from Qatar.

“He is expressing a personal opinion and he explicitly says so,” said FIFA spokewoman Delia Fischer. “We will not comment on a personal opinion.”

FIFA President Sepp Blatter in May said that Qatar being awarded the World Cup was a “mistake”.

FIFA last August called on Russia to give “clarification and more details” about anti-gay laws introduced in June ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Blatter in June 2013 sparked anger by dismissing a question on the logistics of Qatar, a country in which homosexuality is illegal, hosting the World Cup.

The head of the England football team Casey Stoney last year said she would not attend Qatar because gay people are not welcome there.

As well as temperatures, and the country’s anti-gay laws, Qatar has also been questioned on its use of migrant workers to construct stadiums for the event.