FIFA says it is not liable for compensation if the 2022 World Cup is staged in winter
The event in Qatar could be moved because of concerns over high temperatures
The Football Federation of Australia argues affected nations should be compensated
Australia says it wants compensation for losing a bid to host a summer event
FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has stirred plenty of simmering tensions in football’s global community – but is it about to boil over into costly demands for compensation?
On Tuesday, football’s world governing body FIFA insisted it will not be liable for compensation if the 2022 World Cup is staged in winter rather than summer.
FIFA is considering rescheduling the World Cup because of concerns over high temperatures in host nation Qatar, where the heat can reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months.
And Australian football chiefs argue that if the competition is moved then FIFA should offer compensation to those nations affected by a major rescheduling of global football’s calendar.
But a FIFA spokesperson told CNN: “As part of the bidding documents all bidders, including the FA Australia, accepted that the final decision regarding the format and dates of the staging of the FIFA World Cup and FIFA though initially expected to be in June/July, remains subject to the final decision of the FIFA Organising Committee.
“There is no ground for any speculations.”
FIFA will discuss the proposal to move the tournament to a cooler winter date at a meeting in Zurich next month.
On Tuesday Football Federation of Australia went public over its view that explained in a statement that it wants FIFA’s Executive Committee to consider: “An in-principle decision that just and fair compensation should be paid to those nations that invested many millions, and national prestige, in bidding for a summer event.
“If there is consensus within the Ex-Co that a change in date should be considered, then a transparent process should be established to examine the scheduling implications for all leagues and a method developed for agreeing appropriate compensation for those affected.”
Qatar beat bids from Australia, South Korea, the U.S. and Japan to win the right to stage the 2022 World Cup.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently expressed fears that the heat in a Qatari summer would have detrimental health effects on players and quality of football at the tournament.
He said: “You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country and you can’t simply cool down the ambiance of a World Cup.”
Blatter’s Executive Committee could make a decision on 3 October to move the World Cup.
Frank Lowry, chairman of Australia’s Football Federation, said he had written to Mr Blatter to explain why he is against a quick decision and why he feels Australia has a case for complaint and compensation.
“Australia invested heavily in the World Cup process and the entire nation was behind the bid,” he said.
“Since December 2010 Australia has been careful not to let its misgivings about the process be interpreted as sour grapes.
“But now, with increasing speculation about a change that will impact on us as one of the bidding nations, and because our competition will be affected, we have made our position public.
“Our season takes place during the Australian summer to avoid a clash with other local football codes.
“If the World Cup were to be staged in the middle of our A-League season it would impact on our competition, not just for 2022, but for the seasons leading up to and beyond that date.”
Last month Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said FIFA should consider switching the 2022 World Cup from Qatar rather than staging the event in winter.
Qatar’s World Cup team was not immediately available for comment.
The bid team is understood to be happy to host the tournament whenever the FIFA requires regardless of the ramifications for others.