If you stopped in a German pub tonight, and sat to listen to the various topics of conversation between German guys.....it's pretty much zeroed onto the FIFA 2022 Cup in Qatar and what got said this morning.
I realize most Americans are not into the FIFA or soccer discussions but it gets around to an interesting conversation.
FIFA is the governing organization in the world over soccer. They make decisions and everyone abides by them. Every four years, there's a major competition and it's regarded as a big deal. For decades.....they've had the cup in various European, South American, and Asian countries.....along with the US. They've held the cup in Africa on one occasion, and after major discussions.....they awarded Qatar the first cup in the Middle East.....for 2022 (decision made in 2010).
At the time of the talks.....Qatar noted how the normal schedule could be accepted (July of each year held), in the midst of a hot atmosphere. They would build stadiums which could handle the temperatures. People believed the science and technology involved. Qatar got the competition and started the construction projects.
Frankly, no one believes the cooling technology gimmick. They've been suggesting for months that it just won't work. And they've all speculated that this was going to be moved around to November or December of 2022 instead. That.....got various folks upset within Europe. Their club and seasons are tied together.....with cash draws and spectators as part of the whole season gimmick that works. Shutting down the season in late October.....getting some players off to practice, then meet three weeks later for a one-month competition.....wasn't going to work.
Well....FIFA had folks meet and talk over this. The word from this morning is simple....the experts agree....the summer World Cup won't work. It needs to be November. Hostility and anger runs across every single line. Even Fox Sports Network is a bit negative because it won't fit into the schedule unless they work around American football and what is already scheduled out (they assume football fans might watch soccer, which I tend to disagree with).
One suggestion on the table by this FIFA committee is the idea of running the World Cup all the way up to 23 December. You can imagine this.....fans and players all sitting in Qatar and trying like heck to fly out of Qatar on remaining flights on 24 December.....getting back home in time for Christmas. You'd probably have to have 200 aircraft sitting there and prepared to start leaving within an hour or two the championship game ends.
The general prospective now is that FIFA screwed up. It's too hot for summer games and switching to the winter schedule screws up everyone's profit strategy.
As for the booze question, which Germans typically bring up....the Qatar folks already note that a special permit will be established to allow booze into various places during the game period (four weeks). The hint most of the time is that hotels and zones around the stadiums will be given some alcohol rights.
A final decision? I suspect that people will talk about this for the next three years and do little to nothing over the schedules. There's no need to rush. But it'll end up being something that German soccer fans will discuss weekly and how anyone could play in 120-degree temperatures.