Spain to play Uruguay…in Qatar
The international calendar seems to be full of pointless fixtures at the moment and the recent announcement that Spain are to play a friendly against Uruguay in Qatar in February 2013 has done little to change this point of view.
Despite the Spanish Federation earning 3 million euros for taking part in the game, the scheduling of such a match (the same week as round 23 of La Liga and a few days before the Champions League resumes) will surely lead to more questions being asked of governing body FIFA.
The Association of Spanish Footballers will also need to be compensated as they had reserved the date for a friendly against Portugal.
Qatar will certainly use the match to strongly advertise the 2022 World Cup which was awarded to them via a controversial vote which saw Russia gain the right to host the 2018 World Cup.
RFEF sources acknowledge that “the match in Qatar can’t be rejected because the offer is very good.” Indeed, this will be the highest amount that Spain have ever earnt for a friendly, but serious questions will surely be raised.
Both Spain and Uruguay were also drawn in the same group for the Confederations Cup next summer so the friendly may be seen as something of a pre-cursor to that tournament. The Uruguayan Association noted that the friendly match “won’t present a problem for FIFA because it won’t be in Brazil.”