EPL chief slams Qatar 2022 winter plans

Head of the English Premier League opposed to moving Qatar World Cup to winter due to disruption to August-May season.

    EPL chief slams Qatar 2022 winter plans
    Growing concerns about playing in searing Gulf temperatures have put the World Cup issue back on FIFA’s agenda [Getty]

    The chief executive of England's Premier League has said switching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the European winter would be "nigh-on impossible".

    Qatar was controversially chosen to stage international football's premier tournament back in December 2010 but ever since there have been concerns about staging the event in its usual June-July slot because high seasonal temperatures in the Middle East state can top 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

    But moving the World Cup to a possible January or February start would see it falling in the middle of major European domestic seasons, with England's lucrative Premier League likely to be the most severely affected given its lack of a winter break.

    "At the end of the day, FIFA made a decision which is for none of us to comment on," Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said Thursday at the launch of the new season.

    "They decided the World Cup will be in the summer in Qatar.

    "Our view is, if that is deemed not possible by FIFA, they need to move the location. We can't just, on a whim, decide to move to the winter.

    "It's extremely difficult, nigh-on impossible in our view."

    Opposition

    Last week Greg Dyke, the new chairman of England's governing Football Association, potentially put himself at odds with Scudamore by suggesting the 2022 World Cup be played at a different time or moved out of Qatar.

    Meanwhile, last Sunday saw FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce hint that a winter World Cup was a possibility, with his own preference for a tournament which ran between January 6 and February 9, 2022.

    The knock-on effects for the Premier League, as well as England's domestic cup competitions, would be huge and Scudamore said there had to be talks with all interested parties if FIFA were serious about re-scheduling the World Cup.

    "Where they award the World Cup to is a FIFA executive committee decision and not our business," he added.

    "But the international football calendar has to be consulted, FIFA can't just decide.

    "There's a whole series of complications and consultation has to be separate with leagues on a global basis, to make sure it works for everyone before a decision is made."

    SOURCE: AFP


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