FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said that the decision to award the the 2022 World Cup to Qatar is “not reversible”.
“There is no doubt that the World Cup in 2022 will be organised in Qatar and this decision is not reversible,” Blatter told a news conference in Doha after meeting the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on Saturday.
Blatter also ruled out any possibility that Qatar could co-host the tournament with neighbouring countries.
“The decision of the FIFA is to play in one country and that will be in Qatar,” Blatter said.
He explained that more consultations were needed ahead of moving the
2022 World Cup away from the blistering summer heat of the Gulf to the winter months.
“If it’s possible to play at another date, it will be better but they will not play the World Cup in January or February.”
Blatter said this was not possible because of a clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics.
On Friday in the United Arab Emirates, he had said the World Cup “can only be done in November-December” but he did not mention those dates in Doha on Saturday.
Blatter said he was confident of resolving all issues with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar that has come under criticism by rights groups over conditions for workers building the venues.
He said he plans high-level meetings with Qatari officials on various issues, including labour rules.
Rights groups have complained about the lack of safeguards for the mainly South Asian migrant labourers in Qatar and across the Gulf, including low-grade housing and employers withholding the worker passports.
The head of world football said he had also discussed the treatment of migrant workers with the Emir.
“They are aware of the problem but they are already reacting to that,”
he said. “The labour laws are in the process of being amended,” said Blatter, who did not give further details of what the amendments entailed.
“I would like to say again that we are not responsible for the [labour] laws, but we are happy to see that they will be amended,” Blatter said.