Lobby group New FIFA Now believe FIFA’s recommendation that Qatar 2022 be played in November and December “underscores the need for change”.
New FIFA Now has claimed that the move to hold Qatar 2022 in the middle of the European football season “underscores the need” for a complete overhaul of international football governance.
While Australian spokesperson Bonita Mersiades insisted “the need for change at FIFA” is not about solitary decisions, she conceded that the latest revelation regarding the 2022 World Cup could lead to fresh support for New FIFA Now.
FIFA announced on Tuesday that their task force has recommended for Qatar to hold a World Cup during the Middle Eastern nation’s winter months rather than the traditional period of June and July.
The plan, which has been hinted at numerous times since Qatar were awarded hosting rights in 2010, has been slammed by a number of European leagues, including the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga.
“I think this decision underscores the need for change at FIFA, and it reinforces the track that New FIFA Now is on and that is ‘let’s have a FIFA reform commission, which is truly independent’ is the right track. It’s the only way we’re going to get change,” Mersiades told Perform on Wednesday.
“And that’s not necessarily about individual decisions, it’s not necessarily even about Qatar 2022.
“But it is about the systemic and cultural change that FIFA needs so these types of poor decisions are not made in the first place – that decisions are not made on the basis of deals, double-deals, counter-deals and subterranean behaviour, but are made on the basis of their merits.”
While Qatar 2022 has been criticised for alleged corruption in the bidding process, as well as treatment of migrant workers in building new stadiums, Mersiades believes the plan to move the World Cup could spark greater outrage amongst the majority of football fans.
But the former Football Federation Australia employee and long-time football administrator is convinced FIFA will avoid any legal ramifications if they vote to approve the change on May 19
“FIFA did leave itself some wiggle room in the bidding guidelines, so in that respect, I’m sure they’re covered off legally in terms of what other bidders might have to say about it,” she said.
New FIFA Now was started last year in an effort to bring genuine change to FIFA.
The likes of former FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne, ex-Football Assocation chairman David Triesman, SKINS chairman Jaime Fuller and a number of European MPs attended New FIFA Now’s inaugural summit in Brussels on January 21.