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“Staggering”: Football great’s slap down of Qatar World Cup

Former Leeds and Sunderland striker Michael Bridges has delivered a brutal slap down of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Bridges, who is part of Optus Sport’s football coverage, says the allegations surrounding the Cup’s next installment have done great harm to the excitement that should be associated with the tournament.

“It’s going to be a big let down. It’s going to have a massive knock on effect on Premier League and Champions League matches and the way football goes after that,” Bridges told Macquarie Sports Radio’s Cam Reddin.

Qatar’s running of the World Cup will be held from November 27 – December 18 in 2022. That places it right in the middle of the European and Australian football seasons.

Games in the English Premier League, Bundesliga and other leagues will likely be disrupted or re-scheduled en masse.

Qatar had originally pitched to host the tournament in its summer, where temperatures often reach the mid-to-high 40s. Their bid proposed air-conditioned stadiums, but this was later deemed to be unfeasible.

“It’s absolutely incredible”, he said. “Any nation that can change the dates of a major tournament is staggering,” Bridges said.

Calls are growing for an independent investigation into Qatar’s bid for the tournament, following allegations their bid team paid journalists to disseminate propaganda talking down rival bids and used espionage to allegedly sabotage their competition.

“There’s more we are finding out every month about how Qatar won their bid and stole ideas from other countries… a lot of things that have gone on haven’t gone down well,” Bridges said.

Despite mounting public pressure, FIFA maintains the 2022 World Cup will go ahead as planned.

“For some reason, it’s still going ahead at this moment. I definitely won’t be looking forward to this World Cup, especially after what happened in Russia because I thought Russia put on a magical tournament,” Bridges said.

Click below for the full interview