The Winter’s Tale of Corruption: The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Impending Shift to Winter, and Potential Legal Actions against FIFA

Kate Youd | January 1, 2014

Hosting rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament have been awarded to Qatar through a process that many alleged was corrupt. The climate in Qatar during the summer, when the tournament is traditionally held, is extremely hot, leading many in FIFA to consider potentially moving the tournament to the winter months. This move would have a major financial impact on professional soccer leagues in Europe and throughout the world, as well as on broadcasters and business partners. This Comment explores how a legal case could be brought against FIFA for its decision to award the tournament to Qatar. This Comment discusses the judicial bodies that could hear the case—FIFA’s internal judicial bodies, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the Swiss Federal Tribunal—and analyzes how this case regarding the 2022 hosting rights would likely proceed in those judicial bodies. It ultimately concludes that given governing rules and precedent there is little likelihood that a case against FIFA could be successful.