Guido Tognoni in “Schawinski”. “Qatar would not run for a World Cup again.”

Tognoni: “Qatar is a country that could solve all problems with money”

16.11.2022

The whole football world is wondering why the 22nd World Cup is taking place in Qatar. Guido Tognoni was FIFA Communications Director and adviser to Sepp Blatter for eleven years. He has lived in the Gulf State and knows the background.

Guido Tognoni recently described the upcoming tournament in Qatar as “a furious idea from FIFA.” When the World Cup was awarded in 2010, the people on the FIFA Executive Committee simply didn’t take those technical reports seriously; there, Qatar’s candidacy came out with the worst of all expedients, said the Grisons. But the fault lies with the World Football Association. “FIFA preferred Qatar to the Americans, so you can’t blame Qatar for that,” says Tognoni.

Shortly after the award, FIFA realized that it could still be hot in Qatar in the summer, he jokes. “Platini (Editor’s note: the then UEFA president acted as the European representative to FIFA) was the first to say, ‘then we’ll play in winter’.”

Tognoni: “Platini was the first to say: ‘Let’s play in winter then'”

The World Cup award to Qatar is a mistake by FIFA, not the desert state. FIFA itself has turned its own criteria around.

16.11.2022

Of course, the entire World Cup prize was a warm-up game. But this is by no means a novelty, emphasizes the former FIFA official. Tognoni lists several tournaments in the recent past: “Japan/South Korea, South Africa or Germany, which are often forgotten in their high moral seat.”

Bribery was inevitable

Unfortunately, that was a system error. “You only get anything from FIFA if you bribe,” he points out. Qatari football official Mohamed bin Hammam, who was later banned for life by FIFA for corruption, obviously did the same, otherwise Qatar would not have won the World Cup, he concluded.

Tognoni: “You only got something out of FIFA if you bribed”

For Guido Tognoni, the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar is not an isolated case. Bribery was also common before that.

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From a Western point of view, the role model for women in Qatar is the other way around. However, one should not expect a rapid change in the state of the desert. “Certainly, women don’t have the same rights as men, but that was no different for us before the 1970s. We’re not going to change that with a bit of shouting in the newspapers,” Tognoni believes. A lot has happened in Qatar recently. “Women in Qatar don’t have to wear a veil if they don’t want to,” she says. That was also the case with his wife when they lived in the country. “Do we always have to come with moral imperialism?” asks Tognoni.

Tognoni: “Women in Qatar do not have to wear a veil”

Guido Tognoni is critical of the situation of women in Qatar, but a quick change should not be expected, especially since it took a long time for women to vote in Switzerland.

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“The shot went wrong”

All the effort that Qatar made to want to have a very solid World Cup was a waste of energy for Tognoni: “It backfired on him. Qatar certainly expected something different. Qatar is young and naive, even those in power. Qatar is a country that could solve all problems with money. That was not possible at the World Cup: the mood around the world is not good, so Qatar will not get away with it.” His conclusion: “Qatar would not bid for a World Cup again.”

The “Schawinski” talk with Guido Tognoni in its entirety:

Schwinski – with Guido Tognoni

The whole football world is wondering why the 22nd World Cup is taking place in Qatar. Guido Tognoni was FIFA’s communications director for 11 years and an adviser to Sepp Blatter. He has lived in the Gulf State and knows the background.

16.11.2022

“Schawinski” as Podcast

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