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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Qatar 2022 saga 'damaging to Fifa' - John Delaney

The head of the FAI says Fifa should have been clear it was always going to be a winter tournament.

John Delaney believes the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar could have been handled better.
John Delaney believes the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar could have been handled better.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

FAI CHIEF EXECUTIVE John Delaney has said the saga over the Qatar 2022 World Cup has proven “damaging” to world football’s governing body Fifa.

Delaney, speaking at the launch of the PolskaÉire Festival today, said the whole affair could have been avoided had Fifa indicated their intention to have the tournament take place in winter from the outset.

“I’m surprised it has taken this long to make a recommendation because when they awarded the World Cup to Qatar, they should have said it’s not in the summer.

“Everyone has the right to try and host the World Cup but the decision to award it and not be definitive about when it was played, that was the mistake.

“There’s no surprise, we’ve known for the last numbers of years it was going to be in the summer.

“They have seven years to sort it out. It’s the biggest tournament in the world next to the Olympics. Everything else has to take precedent to the World Cup.

“It’s certainly not the traditional way of doing it.

And Delaney believes the affair has been damaging to Sepp Blatter’s organisation.

“It has been damaging to Fifa, of course it has, it’s the lack of clarity.

“It has been damaging to Fifa as a brand, definitely.”

Listen to the full audio on 98fm here.

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Steve O'Rourke

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