Qatar World Cup chiefs have insisted there is no possibility of the 2022 tournament being moved to a different country.
Germany’s FIFA member Theo Zwanziger believes the 2022 World Cup will be moved from Qatar due to the extreme temperatures and the threat of legal action.
FIFA has always stressed the World Cup will be in Qatar but is currently looking at moving the dates to the winter to avoid the heat, and tournament organisers insist the only question is ‘when’ it will be held in Qatar and not ‘if’.
Nasser Al Khater, executive director of communications for Qatar 2022’s supreme committee for delivery & legacy, said in a statement: “Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, despite comments of FIFA Executive Committee member Dr. Zwanziger, which reflect his personal opinion and not that of FIFA.
“The only question now is WHEN, not IF. Summer or winter, we will be ready. We have proven that a FIFA World Cup in Qatar in the summer is possible with state-of-the-art cooling technology.
“We have demonstrated that our cooling works in outdoor areas beyond stadiums. This summer we welcomed fans in Doha to an open-air Brazil 2014 Fan Zone with temperatures cooled to a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius.
“The evolution of environmentally-friendly cooling technologies is an important legacy for our nation, region and for countries with similar climates - promising to expand the reach of hosting major sporting events to countries where it was never thought possible before.”
Zwanziger, who sits on FIFA’s all-powerful executive committee, believes the threat of legal action may force the World Cup to be moved.
He told Sport Bild: “I personally believe that in the end the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar.
“Medical experts say that they cannot accept responsibility for a World Cup taking place under these conditions.”