Qatar's neighboring countries could host games at the 2022 World Cup, according to FIFA president
Qatar was designated the 2022 World Cup last week, despite concerns the intense heat poses a serious health risk if the tournament is played in summer.
In an interview with sports daily L'Equipe yesterday, Blatter said Australia's 2022 World Cup bid proposed some matches could be held in New Zealand, and Qatar could have neighboring countries host games. He didn't say which countries.
Blatter reiterated that FIFA was right to award Qatar the World Cup because soccer needs to expand from its traditional strongholds.
"With Qatar, we are opening football to a new world and a new culture," Blatter said. "The Arab world, which has tried several times - with Morocco or Egypt, for example - to host the World Cup, could legitimately lay claim to hosting this."
Qatar also beat out the United States, Japan and South Korea.
Qatar has huge financial means to ensure a state-of-the art cooling system in stadiums and training grounds to combat desert heat. Ruled by the Al Thani family, the tiny Gulf nation has committed $42.9 billion for infrastructure upgrades and $4 billion to build nine stadiums and renovate three others. All the stadiums plan to keep temperatures at about 81 degrees.
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