Fox said to oppose Qatar World Cup switch

US broadcaster paid world record $425m for TV rights for 2018 and 2022 events

US broadcaster Fox Sports is opposed to any proposal to re-arrange the Qatar 2022 World Cup from summer to winter, sources told the Bloomberg news agency.

Fox in 2011 agreed to pay a world record $425m for the TV rights for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, a sum which dwarfed that paid by ESPN to broadcast the 2010 and 2014 events in South Africa and Brazil, respectively.

James Murdoch and other executives at the network told organiser FIFA that moving the World Cup to winter would clash with its schedule of live NFL games, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

FIFA’s executive board is due to meet at the start of the October, where it is expected to recommend re-arranging the tournament due to temperatures in Qatar, which can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius during the summer.

A statement from Fox said that it had acquired the rights to broadcast World Cup games on the understanding that the tournament “would be in the summer, as they have been since the 1930s”.

FIFA in 2010 opted to award the rights to host the event to the tiny Gulf state over candidates including the US, Australia and Japan. The decision has since been dogged by controversy.

Earlier this week, the head of the Australian football association has said it would seek compensation from world governing body FIFA if the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is switched to winter.

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter has also admitted it was a mistake to allow the event to be held in Qatar’s summer.

Qatar is expected to spend about $200bn on new infrastructure in the run-up to the event. Secretary general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Hassan Al Thawadi has also hit back at calls by European critics that FIFA should rethink plans to hold the World Cup in the Gulf state.

Al Thawadi told the BBC there is "no reason" why Qatar should not host the event.

"We've worked very, very hard to ensure we're within the rules of the bidding, within the rules of the hosting agreement," he told BBC Sport.

"At the same time we're delivering on all the promises that we've made. We're working very hard to deliver it. The commitment is there."

"[Qatar] is the right place, the Middle East is the right place," added Al Thawadi. "We are representing the Middle East, it is a Middle Eastern World Cup, so it is the right place. The Middle East deserves to host a major tournament."


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Posted by: king kong

Rebidding for a summer world cup was regard as repeating the same mistake months ago. However, as the issue progresses, there are new rationales come into the play. Firstly, one of the main problems is the hidden promise of switching to winter made by the UEFA head before the bid. However, in the new rebid all the ExCo members know the backgrounds and the trustworthiness of the ability of the air-conditioning systems to overcome the heat (including the advertised 'artificial clouds' etc). Secondly, some FIFA officials interpret that the bidding contract had the timing opened for FIFA to select/confirm "in principle". This makes controversy and, luckily, this controversial ambiguity lays the rationale for FIFA to have a rebid on the 2022 World Cup hosting right legally, rationally and, perhaps, emphatically.

Based on the above, FIFA should, for this time, open a rebid with clear and not changeable timing of "hosting in summer of northern hemisphere".

Posted by: Luis

Originally everyone felt that holding the last World Cup in South Africa was going to be a mistake and look at what transpired, not only was it a huge success for the "World Cup" itself but for Africa.

The same can and will be said of Qatar 2022, to host this "World Cup" will prove to be a challenge however a way to make it happen can surely be found, not only for the good of soccer but also for the region and the rest of the world to have a better understanding of what the Middle East and it's people have to offer.

Posted by: King Kong

I remember hearing Morgan Freeman speak on the USA?s behalf at the bidding of the 2022 World Cup.

It was elegant, moving, and contained all the power and persuasion that comes with a classic performance form the treasured actor.

It is a cheat.

Posted by: mentabolism

So what difference does it make to FOX, whether it is held in summer or the winter.
Do they have shows planned on their sports channels, for 20whenever, already??
Whoever wants support to move it from the Qatari summer, is garnering industry support too now!
Holding the World Cup in winter in Qatar, will only help to develop the game in the region.
FIFA, and those opposed to the Qatari bid, must stop treating football as their monopoly, and a game only for a privileged few!

Posted by: Titu

Apart from weather, the attitude of Qatari people is not welcoming for other nationalities as well. They still have strict rules for employment (employees still beg for NOC to change employers) and strict control on people movements (exit permit system still in place).

With all such stains on their napkins, how they will organize such a huge event. I doubt!

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