Van Gaal slams FIFA award of 2022 hosting to Qatar as only about the money

March 22 – Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has rekindled the controversy over staging the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by describing the move as “ridiculous” and has lambasted the idea that it would help grow the game in the tiny Gulf state.

FIFA was heavily criticised when Qatar won hosting duties back in 2010 and continues in many quarters to come under fire for the decision, both on a sporting and human rights level when it comes to the treatment of migrant workers.  But it is rare for a national team coach to speak out so forcefully.

Van Gaal, currently in his third spell as Netherlands coach, suggested FIFA’s reasons for awarding the finals to Qatar, where his side will be competing in November and December, were purely financial.

“It’s ridiculous that we are going to play in a country – how does FIFA say it? – to develop the football there, to develop it better there,” declared van Gaal.

“That is b******t but it doesn’t matter, it’s about money, commercial interests. That’s the main motive of FIFA.”

Van Gaal is part of a commission within the Dutch FA (KNVB) which meets every month to evaluate the ongoing situation in Qatar with regards to human rights.  Last year, Dutch players, along with those of Germany and Norway, wore shirts before World Cup qualifiers to highlight the issue.

Speaking ahead of Holland’s upcoming friendlies against Denmark and Germany, he added: “Why do you think I’m not on any committee at FIFA or UEFA with my expertise? Because I have always opposed these kinds of organisations.”

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