Qatar 2022: Bookies slash odds on England hosting next World Cup after Michel Platini arrest

18 Jun

Bookmakers have slashed the odds on Qatar being stripped of hosting the World Cup in 2022.

According to Coral, England have gone from 10-1 to 6-1 to host it instead following Michel Platini’s arrest.

Former UEFA president Platini was detained for questioning by French police over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to the small Gulf state.

Platini was detained and spoken to by police on Tuesday morning

Platini, who has never denied voting for Qatar but has always rejected any claims of wrongdoing, was detained in a suburb of Paris on Tuesday morning.

“Since it was awarded the 2022 World Cup, there has been nothing but controversy around why Qatar were selected as hosts and following this latest development, the betting suggests there is a strong chance they could now be stripped of the tournament,” said Coral’s John Hill.“If a new host is required, England are likely to be one of the favourites as they are one of the few countries who could hold the tournament at short notice with their infrastructure and transport.”

The Parquet National Financier has been investigating the December 2010 decision to stage football’s biggest tournament in the wealthy Qatar since 2016.

England fans were convinced football was coming home last summer following an unforgettable tournament in Russia

Qatar beat bids from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in a vote by the executive committee of world football’s governing body FIFA, but more than half of that 22-man panel have now been accused of receiving bribes.

Platini was head of European football’s governing body until 2015 when he was handed an eight-year ban over ethics breaches that was later reduced to four years on appeal.

The ban expires this October and he has previously suggested he intends to return to football politics.

Why are Qatar and Japan playing in the Copa America? Countries involved in South American showpiece

17 Jun

Qatar and Japan are at the Copa America this summer to mix it with South America’s best.

It is Japan’s second appearance at the tournament, while Qatar are making their debut in Brazil but why are they there? Here talkSPORT reveals all.

Qatar will be at the Copa America

Why are Qatar and Japan playing in the Copa America?

As CONMEBOL, the South American football federation, only has ten members, they invite additional countries to create a workable tournament structure.

Initially, six extra teams – three from North America and three from Asia – were set to be invited in order to create a 16-team tournament, as was the case for the 2016 competition in the United States.

But instead, in May 2018, CONMEBOL decided the tournament should follow the structure of all other competitions since 1993 and have 12 teams, with Qatar and Japan those invited.

North American teams have previously been invited but that hasn’t been the case this year due to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Japan will take part in the 2019 Copa America

Did Qatar and Japan qualify through the Asian Cup?

No. Qatar did beat Japan 3-1 in the 2019 Asian Cup final, but it is a complete coincidence that they also happen to have been invited to the Copa America.

Who will Qatar and Japan play?

Qatar, who host the 2022 World Cup, have a tough Group B to contend with, being drawn against Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay.

Japan, meanwhile, have been drawn in Group C alongside Uruguay, Chile and Ecuador.

World Cup 2022: FIFA drop plans to make finals in Qatar a 48-team tournament

22 May

FIFA has announced the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be a 32-team tournament as originally planned.

World football’s governing body had toyed with the idea of expanding the showpiece event to 48 teams but it’s been determined as not practical.

France won the last World Cup in Russia in 2018

“The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will, therefore, remain as originally planned with 32 teams,” a statement read.

The World Cup is due to become a 48-team tournament in 2026 when it is hosted jointly by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

FIFA carried out studies to determine whether it would be feasible to increase participation in Qatar in three years’ time but it was not logistically possible.

The Al Wakrah Stadium in Doha will host the opening match of the 2022 tournament

The statement read: “FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries. Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process… it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now.”

It added that there was also not enough time for Qatar itself to assess the potential impact of hosting an expanded tournament.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar begins four years today – look at the latest stadium pictures

21 Nov

The four-year countdown to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has officially begun.

It will be the first time a World Cup is not held in June and July due to the sweltering temperatures.

Hassan Al Thawadi, the Secretary General of the Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) poses with former Spain international and World Cup 2022 ambassador Xavi Hernandez

Starting on November 21 and finishing on December 18, £1.5 million football fans are expected to visit Qatar, the first Arab state to host the tournament.

Having a Winter World Cup has been controversial along with allegations of bribery in the selection process involving members of Fifa’s Executive Committee, a British worker falling to his death and other employees being left unpaid.

The World Cup will be played in eight stadiums across Qatar. Here, talkSPORT brings you the latest pictures of each stadium.

Khalifa International Stadium
Capacity – 40,000
Location – Doha

This is the only World Cup stadium that’s been built. It opened for the first time in May 2017 when hosting the Emir Cup final.

The stadium has previously hosted the Asian Games, the Gulf Cup and the AFC Asian Cup.

British worker Zac Cox, 40, died in January 2017 after falling from 40 ft when a catwalk he was helping to install collapsed.

Khalifa International Stadium

Khalifa International Stadium
Khalifa International Stadium

Lusail Stadium
Capacity – 80,000
Location – Lusail

Lusail Stadium is the biggest sports venue in Qatar and it will host the World Cup final.

The complete design for the stadium is set to be unveiled next month.

Lusail Stadium

Lusail Stadium
Lusail Stadium

Ras Abu Aboud Stadium
Capacity – 40,000
Location – Doha

This stadium will host the quarter-finals stage of the World Cup.

It will be the first demountable and reusable venue in history. Shipping containers will be used to build the stadium.

Ras Abu Aboud Stadium

Al Thumama Stadium
Capacity – 40,000
Location – Al Thumama

This stadium is the only World Cup venue being designed by a Qatari.

Most of the concrete frame on the lower tier has been completed, while the upper tier is believed to be progressing well.

Al Thumama Stadium
Al Thumama Stadium
Al Thumama Stadium

Education City Stadium
Capacity – 40,000
Location – Doha

Education City Stadium is located at the heart of the Qatar Foundation. The venue will host World Cup games up until the quarter-finals stage.

It is set to become the home of the Qatar Women’s football team.

The stadium, known as “The Diamond in the Desert”, will reduce its capacity by half after the tournament – 20,000 seats will be donated to build other venues in developing countries.

Education City Stadium
Education City Stadium
Education City Stadium

Al Rayyan Stadium
Capacity – 40,000
Location: Al Rayyan

Similarly to the Education City Stadium, World Cup matches will be played in this venue up until the quarter-finals stage.

Al Rayyan Stadium
Al Rayyan Stadium

Al Bayt Stadium
Capacity: 60,000
Location: Al Khor

This stadium is being designed to represent Arab hospitality. Games will be played up until the semi-finals stage.

It will be covered by a structure resembling a traditional Arab tent. The stadium structure has been completed along with the installation of the retractable roof.

Al Bayt Stadium

Al Wakrah Stadium
Capacity: 40,000
Location: Al Wakrah

This stadium will have a cooling system and a retractable roof. It is set to be open all year round.

Al Wakrah Stadium

Qatar accused of sabotaging World Cup 2022 rivals with secret campaign

29 Jul

The Qatar 2022 World Cup bid team broke FIFA rules by running a secret campaign to sabotage their rivals for the tournament, The Sunday Times has claimed.

The newspaper says it has been passed documents by a whistleblower who worked with the Qatar bid.

Qatar will host the World Cup in 2022

It says the bid team used a PR agency and former CIA operatives to disseminate fake propaganda about its main competitors, the United States and Australia.

This allegedly involved recruiting prominent figures to criticise the bids in their own countries, thus giving the impression they lacked support at home.

FIFA rules say that bidders must “refrain from making any written or oral statements of any kind, whether adverse or otherwise, about the bids or candidatures of any other member association which has expressed an interest in hosting and staging the competitions”.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said it “rejected” all the claims made by the paper.

According to The Sunday Times, the alleged smear campaign included paying a professor 9,000 dollars (£6,900) to write a damning report on the economic cost of a US World Cup, recruiting journalists and bloggers to promote negative stories in the US, Australian and international media, and organising grassroots protests at rugby matches in Australia.

The leaked documents also revealed that a group of American PE teachers had been recruited to ask congressmen to oppose a US World Cup on the grounds the money would be better spent on high school sports, the paper claimed.

There is much controversy surrounding the Qatar World Cup

Lord Triesman, former chairman of the Football Association and England bid chairman, urged FIFA to “look at the evidence thoroughly”, and said Qatar should not be allowed to “hold on to the World Cup” if they were shown to have broken FIFA rules.

He told the paper: “I think it would not be wrong for FIFA to reconsider England in those circumstances … We have the capabilities.”

The Qatar bid team has previously been accused of corruption, but was cleared following a two-year inquiry by the FIFA ethics committee.

In a statement, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said: “The Supreme Committee rejects each and every allegation put forward by the Sunday Times.

“We have been thoroughly investigated and have been forthcoming with all information related to our bid, including the official investigation led by US attorney Michael Garcia.

“We have strictly adhered to all FIFA’s rules and regulations for the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process.”

FIFA said an investigation into the circumstances of the bid had already been carried out and no wrongdoing was found.

A FIFA spokesperson said: “Concerning the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process, a thorough investigation was conducted by Michael Garcia and his conclusions are available in the report, which has been published on

“Generally speaking, complaints regarding potential breaches of the FIFA Code of Ethics may be filed via FIFA’s confidential reporting mechanism.”


World Cup 2022: Finals in Qatar to be played over 28-day period during winter months, FIFA announces

13 Jul

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has confirmed the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take place during the winter.

The governing body took the decision to move the tournament to the more cooler months with a November 21 start date.

The Khalifa International Stadium will play host to some of the games at the 2022 tournament

The final is due to happen on December 18, which is also Qatar National Day.

It will therefore fall in the middle of the domestic schedule for the majority of European club sides.

However, the tournament will be played over a reduced time period of 28 days in an attempt to counteract this.

Meanwhile, Infantino declared the 2018 tournament as the best World Cup ever and thanked Russia for being the perfect host.

The 2018 World Cup got the thumbs up from FIFA’s president

Speaking at the traditional tournament overview media conference, he said: “For a couple of years I have been saying this will be the best World Cup ever and today I can say that with conviction – it is the best World Cup ever.

“I would like to thank everyone. The main actors are on the pitch – the players, referees and coaches – but, of course, there are also all those who have worked to make sure everything has worked smoothly, the Russians.

“A big thank you to the Russian government and the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the local organising committee, the Russian Football Union, the volunteers, the heart and smile of the World Cup, all those people, more than 100,000, who helped in one capacity or another.”

France face Croatia in the final of these World Cup finals while England take on Belgium in the third place play-off and you can listen to both games live on talkSPORT from 4pm on Sunday and 3pm on Saturday respectively.