Effenberg, famed for his outspoken views during two stints at Bayern Munich, told Sky television that the World Cup should "always be awarded to countries with a footballing tradition, who live for football and love (the sport)".
"Qatar has nothing to do with football," he added. "It's an absolutely terrible decision. The conditions are catastrophic. I can't explain it."
The executive committee of world football's governing body FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar at a summit in Zurich, Switzerland last week.
Effenberg, who played for Bayern between 1990 and 1992 and then between 1998 and 2002, retired from football in 2004 after having a short stint with Qatari side Al-Arabi and has since been working as a TV pundit.