PARIS — Amid allegations that Qatar paid bribes to be chosen as host of the 2022 World Cup, the head of FIFA says a search is underway for a suitable desert replacement.
“We’re looking for a new host nation, preferably one in the middle of a sweltering desert where fans and players alike can sweat their balls off,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter. “Where hundreds of thousands of visitors who are unaccustomed to such extreme heat can be utterly miserable and maybe even pass out once or twice a day.”
Blatter reminded reporters the tournament takes place in June and July, and that it is important to choose a place where summer temperatures do not fall below 40 degrees (104 F) in order to ensure maximum discomfort.
“We assumed Qatar was chosen because its summers are so hot that people there are known to burst into fireballs, but to our great surprise, corruption might have played a small role in the decision,” Blatter said.
Several nations with sizable deserts, mostly from Africa and the Middle East, have already announced their candidacy, with Mali making the most vocal efforts to get the attention of Blatter and other FIFA officials.
“Please, if you choose Mali for the 2022 World Cup, we promise you’ll get the most soul-crushing heat, so crippling that it regularly turns desert scorpions into rocks,” said Boubacar Baba Diarra, head of the Mali Football Association. He also promised that every match would be held in the Sahara desert, and that players could even be forced to play shoeless, while fans could be denied water, just to make the event all the more sadistic.
“And think about how much fun it will be saying ‘Timbuktu’ all the time,” Diarra added.