GamesBids.com presents the seventh annual Top Ten list of Olympic Bid Stories for 2014. These stories impacted the course of Olympic bids, or the Olympic bid process, and formed interesting plot lines for the year. We’ll run them down from 10th to 1st during the holiday season.
#4 – FIFA and IOC At Odds Over 2022 Schedule
In 2010 Qatar was elected host city for the FIFA World Cup in 2022 despite its stifling summertime heat. It was okay though, officials assured, hi-tech air-conditioning would solve the problem.
But by 2013 it became clear that a football World Cup in the extreme heat would be dangerous to players and fans alike, and new arrangements had to be made.
So why am I writing about the World Cup in an Olympic bid Top Ten List?
It turns out that FIFA wants to instead move its tournament to the Winter in 2022 causing a conflict with the Olympic Winter Games. Beijing and Almaty are already bidding to host the Games, and their success could be endangered by the FIFA move. Television ratings could suffer from viewer fatigue and competing advertising dollars could be stretched thin.
The annual GamesBids.com April Fool’s article suggested that the 2022 Winter Games could be moved to 2023 because of the conflict – at the time a ridiculous statement because it didn’t seem FIFA would be so bold as to schedule the World Cup in January or February of 2022. In fact IOC President Thomas Bach wasn’t concerned and believed another solution would be found.
FIFA Executives and Its Chief Sepp Blatter in November narrowed the options to January/February 2022 and November/December 2022 timeframes and are expected to report a decision by March 2015, right around the time the IOC will be inspecting the 2022 Olympic bid cities.
But so far it seems that Blatter, also an IOC member, hasn’t ruled out staging the Word Cup at the same time as the Olympic Winter Games.
Expect this story to make the 2015 Top Ten list as well.