Euro chiefs want 'exhaustive' talks on Qatar 2022

European Club Association says it is in no hurry for decision to be made; calls for full debate
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 10 Sep 2013 06:14 PM

The association representing Europe's top football clubs said on Tuesday that FIFA must hold "exhaustive" consultation before switching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to a winter tournament.

The European Club Association said in a statement that it was in "no hurry" and wanted a full debate to take place before a final decision is taken.

The statement came after the ECA met in Switzerland for talks. Since Qatar won the right to host the World Cup in 2010, the practicalities of staging a summer tournament in the Middle East - where temperatures of 40C and above are common - has been debated.

"ECA will discuss and elaborate with all European football stakeholders a European position on the matter. Next week, a meeting of the UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council is scheduled and we believe it is the right platform to discuss the matter in detail," the statement said.

"Such democratic consultation process is also the only way to tackle the issue at worldwide level. We are not in a hurry - the world cup takes place in 2022.

"We request FIFA to take the time for a proper, serious and exhaustive consultation with all stakeholders before making a decision that has to be the best for football."

Any move in the event to the winter would be hugely disruptive to Europe’s domestic football leagues, which typically have a hectic playing schedule around that time.

Earlier this week FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted that a mistake may have been made when the 2022 World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010.

In an interview published on Monday, Blatter defended his decision that the tournament should be played in the winter when it is held in the Gulf state.

Asked whether FIFA already knew that a summer World Cup would be impossible when it awarded the tournament on December 10 2010, Blatter said: "That may well be so, and it may well be that we made a mistake at the time. On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities."

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