As you know, the 2018 World Cup emblem is out, and it shows “heart and spirit” (Blatter). It has a space motif, because The World Is Not Enough.
If a logo for the 2022 Qatar World Cup was unveiled today, what would it look like? A man staring at a calendar with a confused look on his face, that’s what.
Going on four years since the competition was given to a nation that’s, in the words of the CIA World Factbook, “slightly smaller than Connecticut,” FIFA will hold a 2022 tournament meeting on Monday which is likely to address such trivial issues as when the hell it will actually take place.
Speaking of hell, it’s hotter than that in Qatar during June and July, when World Cups take place. So FIFA seem to want to move the tournament to November and December – completely disrespecting the MLS playoffs! UEFA also prefer the winter, but president Michel Platini (who voted for Qatar) has previously indicated a preference for January-February.
There’s also the issue of the 2022 Winter Olympics meandering around in the background like a lost Nordic skiier; though, in a marked contrast with major soccer tournaments, no one seems to want to host it.
Any time other than June or July is going to seriously irritate the top European leagues, who will be forced into a two-month hiatus and a schedule rejigging that might take years to fully correct. Crowds and TV audiences might go down, players would return tired and injured, and international soccer would have bossed around the club game, for once.
But unless Qatar can come up with something like this …
… the desert sun will almost certainly preclude a summer World Cup, because fans and participants might die of heat stroke, and then FIFA will get sued.
Now European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told the London Times he wants Qatar 2022 to take place in April. Because Qatar in the springtime – well, it’s basically as lovely as Paris.
“Our proposal is a bit different. We will publish that in the next days. We have made some research . . . and the outcome of this research is that the best option would be to start the World Cup at the end of April, finishing in May,” he said.
Actually the best option would be to have the tournament in the U.S., but that’s almost certainly not going to happen. So a proposal that only subjects Cup-goers to Texas in July-esque temperatures and screws up the European club calendar a bit less than other months seems like the appropriate compromise.
Though FIFA will do whatever it wants (once it knows what it wants), Rummenigge holds significant sway. Because money is power, and in soccer, Europe is where most of the money is.