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FIFA changes the game

March 27, 2015

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is trying to clean up the mess it made when the organization awarded Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. Instead of the tournament being held in the traditional summer months of June and July, FIFA officials announced last week that matches would take place between November and December with the final scheduled for Dec. 18.

“At least we know that the final will not be the 23rd [of December], so time to make Christmas shopping and time to go home,” FIFA director of communications Walter de Gregorio said in a Wall Street Journal article published on March 29.

Thank goodness we won’t miss any sales!

The reason for the switch is that FIFA officials worry that high desert temperatures in the summer and high humidity will be harmful to the health of players, officials, spectators and employees at the stadiums. This makes sense and I am glad that the organization actually cares for people rather than profit. On the other hand, FIFA elected Qatar as the hosts knowing what type of climate the month-long tournament will be played in.

The switch in schedule has caused a ripple effect throughout the world of soccer. The English Premier League (EPL), one of the top levels of soccer, usually plans to have a large amount of matches played in December. With the new date of the World Cup, the EPL is left with an issue in the scheduling of matches. The German Bundesliga will also have to rearrange its season due to FIFA’s decision.

Despite the inconveniences to the EPL and Bundesliga, FIFA’s decision is only part of the organization’s overwhelming power in the football world. When Qatar was picked as the 2022 host, the decision was shrouded in bribery and human rights issues. FIFA then hired the former U.S. attorney for New York’s southern district, Michael J. Garcia, to do an investigation in the bidding process.

This showed some progress that FIFA might be holding itself accountable in an organization shrouded with corruption. However, to no one’s surprise, FIFA refused to make the report official and issued a brief summary of the 350-page report.

FIFA is a force to be reckoned with and has now completely manufactured a World Cup to its pleasing. People are calling for a boycott of the tournament and citizens are asking their international teams not to attend. When 2022 roles around, will you pass up the biggest competition on earth?

Alistair Ramsay
Senior Staff Writer

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